Tips for Mothers Going Through Legal Separation or Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Once the initial shock settles down and the divorce becomes a reality, you start realizing that your life will change in many ways when you become a single woman once again. A realization like this can be actually scary for many. However, like many others, you will also get used to these new changes gradually. So do not lose your cool and be patient.

It is indeed a gutsy role to be a single mother once your divorce gets finalized. Such a role will also be a challenging one as you transform into a stronger individual with each day. Do not feel scared and prepare yourself for the rainy day. You should start doing everything on your own so that your life becomes less stressful and easier. You may consider the following divorce tips that are helpful for single moms so that you can prepare yourself and plan accordingly.

Spend time in reviewing your financial position 

Do not indulge into self-pity or worry unnecessarily about your inability to provide for your kids. It will not serve any purpose and will end up giving you headaches. Thus, it is advisable to put aside your worries about how to get enough money to purchase a bicycle or doll for your little one. There are various ways of giving toys to your kids without going to the market to purchase them. You can make those toys at home. Let your kids help you out as they are going to love such activities. When you spend your time together and create these toys, it will be a memory they are going to cherish for a long time to come.

Self-education is extremely important 

Self-improvement initiatives and education are important things to work on at this crucial juncture of life as you need to be self-equipped and self-dependent in your new life. You can go online and research for some free courses on the net, find out easy tips to earn money and check available resources as a part of your action plan.

Be well-informed about issues like insurance plans, savings, credit, and taxes as they will come quite handy after your divorce. You can do so by either researching about them online or by hiring a professional consultant. Try to find out whether there are any government sponsored programs along with the benefits they offer to single mothers. The bottom line is you should have all relevant information at your disposal so that looking after your household and finances after your divorce become simpler.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Questions To Ask Yourself Prior To Filing For Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are several cases where the divorce process is not easy at all. Rather, it can turn messy on several occasions. Whatever may be the reason for you to file the divorce; you should make this decision independent of emotions. In fact, such a step should be only taken after weighing all the options before you. Moreover, you should be all set to fight for the custody of your kids and your assets. While the situation may vary from individual to individual, there are some necessary questions that you should ask yourself first prior to filing the divorce.

Did you try to repair the relationship with your spouse?

Do you feel divorce is the most appropriate resolution before you? In case your married life is unhappy but not a violent one, you should go for a professional help to find out if it is a rough patch that you are going through or ending your marriage and moving ahead in your life is the best solution available for you. When personal issues are the main reasons for your marriage going sour, then chances are that you may go through the same problems in your future relationships too. So, it is important to find out the root cause of your sadness. This is precisely the reason why you should give another chance to repair your relationship before going ahead with your divorce decision. To do this you may try to identify what are the major points of conflicts between both of you. Make efforts to improve your communication as open discussions can solve plenty of problems.  You can even meet a professional counselor to make it work between you and your spouse.

Do you feel safe in your home?

In case you have already made a decision on taking a divorce, whether stay in your ex’s house or leave it may have severe implications.  After all, your children’s safety is of great importance.  However, in case you do not have any immediate danger, you can get in touch with an attorney before you leave your existing home since it could have a bearing on the custody hearing. But when the relationship between you and your spouse is strained and an abusive one, you must take the required steps to remove the kids and yourself from any type of danger. According to a report published by the American Bar Association, about half the assaults take place either during or after separation.

Have you spoken to a good divorce attorney?

Getting in touch with an experienced divorce lawyer is one of the most crucial steps that you must take prior to filing for your divorce.  Different states have different laws on divorce and they keep changing frequently. A good divorce attorney may help you with your queries and doubts and also represent you in court.  In case your case is a complicated one and children are also involved in it, you will need an expert lawyer who specifically deals with family law to represent your case.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

4 Divorce Myths That Should Be Ignored

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMany people go for a divorce with certain preconceived ideas about how their experience would be. Check out some of those common myths that are often associated with the process of divorce. It helps you to keep your mind open about what may happen while your divorce proceeding is going on.

The divorcing couples must go to divorce court

It is quite likely that you would not have to spend a day in the court, especially if you are little fortunate. In a majority of States, a couple can arrive at an agreement with a divorce lawyer or a mediator, a judge may put his or her signature on the divorce decree and the parties involved need not appear in the divorce court. It is easy to stay out of a divorce court even the couple can sort out their conflicts amicably while the negotiation for divorce settlement goes on.

A divorce lawyer is mandatorily needed for seeking a divorce

On the contrary, it is not compulsory to hire a divorce lawyer. You can choose from certain options that can alleviate the requirement of hiring a lawyer. These options can prevent

Divorce courts can be biased as they often favor the moms

It is true that in the majority of cases, mothers are given the custody of the kids. However, that is not because the judge is biased. It has more to do either many fathers agreeing to hand over the custody to their estranged wives. Mostly, fathers have heard that they should not even try to get custody that they do not even make an attempt to get the custody. In reality, a father does not have to prove that the mother is not capable f caring for or mentally unstable to provide or care for the kids. Who will gain custody while the parents are getting divorced will be ascertained by the concerned judge. In case a father can give evidence to a judge that he is a more suitable parent, custody can be awarded to him.

A child can spend equal time with both the parents in case of a fifty-fifty custody. This is perhaps the most ideal scenario for the children. Both of you should make the best possible efforts to provide the best for your children. But a father has the same legal rights as the mother in the case of child custody.

Divorce will damage the kids 

This is not true because children do not get damaged due to divorce. But parents who do not give a priority to their children’s interests during and after the divorce process damage their kids.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how Orange County divorce mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Divorcing When You Have Adult Children

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many couples who are going through a high-conflict marriage. But since these couples have children from their marriage, they sometimes wait until their children grow up and leave home for college to separate or divorce. A term called “The Freshman Call” has originated from this practice that further goes on to prove how popular such a phenomenon is these days. It is true that while parents opt for a divorce and kids are involved, the major impact is typically on these young children. But when couples with adult children plan to divorce, the latter can be deeply affected too.

On several occasions, these parents are not quite prepared for the violent and powerful reactions they get from their adult children who are studying in colleges. In fact, these kids may face a host of issues when their parents make up their minds to part ways.

Handling feelings of guilt while separating with adult children

On one hand, younger children may feel concerned that they are responsible for the divorce of their parents while on the other hand, college-going children frequently feel guilty that their contribution was insufficient to stop the breakup of their parents’ marriage. Such emotions are likely to prevail even though the children know that their parents had a troubled marriage from the beginning.

Though several college going children do have the necessary insight and maturity to understand that their parents’ marriage is not a happy one, they may still be slightly taken aback when they get to know about the divorce news of their parents. It can also take a toll on their mental and physical well being. Plus, some adult children may start having apprehensions about the fate of their own romantic relationships. They may become pessimistic about relationships in general after their parents’ divorce.

Plan your conversation with your adult children while divorcing

Restrain yourself from calling your children at college and do not discuss such details when they are away on vacations. Instead, wait for an opportunity when they are at home for some days. It is the ideal opportunity for all of you to sit, relax and discuss the matter. You should understand that your divorce decision can be upsetting for them. It is also important to concentrate on your children rather than giving more focus on the reasons for which you are getting a divorce.

Encourage your adult children to maintain harmonious relationship with both the parents

Since your children are now grown-ups, there will be no orders from the court for a specific parenting time or schedule now. But let your adult child know that they should try to maintain a cordial relationship with both the parents even after the divorce comes through.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Out-of-State Properties Held by a Couple in a California Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsProperty division is an important part of a divorce and many people are cautious about what happens to their properties after a divorce. Properties can be many types and are usually seen as separate or marital. Properties can include stocks, loans, shares and intangible materials. In recent years, the number of out-of-state marriages has risen and this includes individuals who belong to a different nationality. Now, these ‘other’ nationality individuals have properties which are not present in the U.S. soil. How are such properties treated once the couple gets divorced?

A divorce comes with many complications and most of them involve dividing properties and other finances. Even with an experienced lawyer, it can be tough for some to accept the final outcome of the divorce proceeding.

How are out-of-state properties treated in a California divorce?

California state laws allow family law judges to have jurisdiction over properties that are located outside the state of California, which are considered “quasi-community property.” They are  entitled to make decisions that directly involve out-of-state properties.

Properties that are acquired during a marriage are regarded as marital community property by the California law and must be divided equally after a divorce. Properties purchased during the marriage outside of California are generally treated  as quasi-community property and are liable for equal distribution.

Dealing with out-of-state properties can become complex and confusing. During such property divisions, the family law judge plays a vital role and much of the outcome depends on the judge. It is advisable for individuals going through divorce mediation to hire an Orange County divorce mediator lawyer who has experience in out-of-state property dealings and division.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Are you responsible for your spouse’s credit card debts after divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediator; California Divorce MediatorsYou have divorced your partner but you may still have to take certain additional steps to ensure your financial stability. If you and your former spouse held joint credit cards before your divorce, ditching debts can be a difficult proposition. It should be understood that a credit card company is not bound by any kind of divorce decrees. Hence, they can be after you for debts that are jointly incurred in case you ex spouse fails to pay. That is precisely the reason why any Orange County divorce lawyer, credit counselor or financial planner may suggest you to end your marriage without any kind of joint debt. Now, this can be done by opting to pay off your joint cards together. Alternatively, the debt in incurred on your joint credit card can be split and then transferred to the card in the name of each partner. The aim for this step is to ensure that all your liabilities are removed for the debts incurred by your partner. Make sure to inventory the wallet you hold and ensure the cancellation of all the joint credit cards during your divorce process.

It can be extremely painful to go through the consequences of stepping into your new life with previous jointly held debts. If your former spouse refuses to pay whatever he or she was supposed to pay or files for bankruptcy, the creditors may be after you to realize the entire debt amount along with penalties and interests. As a precautionary step in this direction, you may include additional provisions into your divorce agreement so that your former spouse has to pay up. However, knocking the doors of the court can be both time-consuming and costly.

Here are the basics

Typically, any debt that is incurred during a marriage is the combined responsibility of both the parties provided they have been co-signers on those credit cards. On the other hand, in case the credit card is in the name of only one spouse and the other partner has been named as an additional cardholder, the latter cannot be held responsible. After the partners have got legally separated, any debt that has been incurred on a credit card is the sole liability of that spouse who made their purchases using the card,

What are the options before you?

You have various kinds of options to handle debts on a joint credit card. The one that you will employ depends on the nature of relationship you share with your ex spouse. A sure shot way to make sure that you don’t have to pay for those joint debts is to cancel all your joint cards. A second option for you could be to pay off all jointly incurred liabilities using your joint savings or joint assets such as a jointly owned property. In case you are not doing well financially, you can consult a good Orange County divorce attorney to assist you in figuring out the various options.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please clink on this link to visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

What To Know About Uncontested Divorces

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsToday, many couples prefer to go through an uncontested divorce due to features like ease and promptness. Unlike contested divorce that may go through a longer process of several hearings in the court before the divorce can be granted.

Why uncontested divorce may get rejected sometimes?

However, though uncontested divorce is mostly preferred as compared to long and bitter legal battles, it will be surprising for you to note that a large number of applications made for uncontested divorces get rejected every year. The key reason for the rejection is the fact that a majority of such applications do not satisfy the concerned authorities that the couple has agreed on all the important issues.

The key point of the legal process is to ensure that all the issues are amicably resolved as per the state’s law and both the partners get a just share of the assets as well as the liabilities.

It is natural that the spouses will have thorough knowledge about their domestic and financial arrangements. That is the reason for the family law experts to stress on the point that both the spouses should meet and resolve all the issues amicably. However, if there is lack of agreement on any of the crucial issues, it is impossible for the uncontested divorce to succeed. The judge will then issue a date for the case of contested divorce of the same couple.

Merits of uncontested divorce

A big benefit associated with an uncontested marriage is that it can save both time as well as money. There are many such scenarios when an uncontested divorce is faster and costs less than all other forms. The key savings that the petitioner enjoys is the legal fees that are a major cause of expenses in the case as there is no reason to hinder or delay the proceedings, the entire process can be completed with two to three months.

Another main benefit in the case of an uncontested marriage is related to the relationship shared by the spouses after their divorce. There are many such divorced couples who hold grudges against one another and are bitter against their ex. Many a times, such hard feelings may trigger other cases in the court even after the divorce comes through  for what they feel are injustices made against them with respect to the divorce settlements. However, in the case of an uncontested divorce, the couples part in an amicable manner according to agreed agreements on child custody, division of properties among others. So, there are fewer chances of such legal battles after the divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please clink this link to visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

The 3 Other Alternatives to a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAre you uncertain of whether you want to divorce your spouse or not? If it is so, you can relax since there are various other alternatives to a divorce, which you may consider. These are counseling, annulment, and separation.

Legal separation

If you opt for a legal separation from your spouse, your marriage does not end. However, it does make life easier to live away from your spouse when the situation is not right. You can also get a legal on ways of coping up with concerns such as child custody and finances while in a separation. There are a number of reasons why you and your spouse may want to opt for a legal separation. They include:

  • Not in favor divorce due to religious reasons
  • An effort to stay separately prior to going ahead with a return to your married life or a divorce.
  • Opting to separate till the time you satisfy the state’s requirements for divorce.

You need to understand that going for a legal separation does not mean your marriage has ended.

Moreover, such a state does not permit you to get married to another person. Legal separation is just a way for managing your child custody, finances as well as other relevant issues.

Counseling

When a married couple gets in touch with a mental health professional, clergy member or a counselor to get their concerns addressed, the process is called counseling. There are some widely-known reasons of divorces like communication gaps, financial differences and lack of physical intimacy that can be effectively sorted out with the help of a therapist sometimes. This is a good alternative when you want to remain with your spouse in the marriage.

Unlike a divorce, the couple remains married while the counseling process is on. Moreover, the said couple’s legal situations, childcare and financial situation also remain the same.

Annulment

It is a process that proves that the marriage did not exist from the very beginning.  You can annul your marriage for certain issues, which existed prior to your marriage. Such issues are now making your marriage invalid in the eyes of the law. Some of the potential causes for annulment could be polygamy, underage marriage, duress, and fraud.

Annulments can be distinguished from divorces as you may not be able to make claims for community property rights or spousal support, unless the other person qualifies as a “putative spouse” in California that could entitle that person to obtain such rights as if they were a legal spouse.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please click this link to visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Ways To Be Happy Even During Divorce Proceedings

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce can be a catastrophic experience, so being happy while the divorce proceeding is going on may seem a paradox. After all, isn’t a divorce associated with heartbreak, anguish, fear, anger, and confusion? But, it is in your hand to control your negative emotions during this critical juncture of your life and nurture positive emotions within you.

Even when a divorce can be an intensely emotional process, it will do you good to go through a different set of emotions. It will give you the much-needed relief from sadness when you experience a loss of any kind in your life. A sure-shot technique to come out of your grief is to keep your body in motion. You can try out any kind of physical activity including riding in a swing in your nearby park. In fact, you can get the much-needed relief while taking a break from certain emotions in a conscious manner.

Ways of being happy even during stressful time 

  • Spend some time on a trail hiking

Give yourself time to take a long walk in the midst of nature or enjoy hiking with your friends. When you are in close contact with the earth, it empowers you with several qualities such as beauty, time, and certainty. All these qualities can be a big support for you when you are experiencing a deep sense of loss, particularly during your divorce. It is also important to keep an eye on your footing as well as observe the nature and scenic beauty around you. Such an act will definitely succeed in distracting your mind. It will lead to the reduction of stress and lift up your spirits.

  • Indulge yourself with some strength exercises regularly

If you brood too much during your divorce and be sad every day, it is difficult for your body to retain the ability to engage and contract muscles and strength. So, it is essential for you to take out some time and do some weight lifting, push-ups, and squats; in fact, any kind of physical activity to experience your outer and inner strength.

  • Be playful and happy go lucky

If you make it a habit to move in playful and natural ways, your heart can open up and your spirit will be lifted too. If you do not wish to use a swing in the nearby park, find out what activity can make you feel playful and relaxed. Once you find it, just do it. On certain occasions, you may go on a hiking expedition and yet the sadness is still within you. When you are playful though your heart is heavy, it can open the floodgate for a variety of emotions.

With passing time, you will realize that your sadness will also decrease. Precious moments such as being on a swing or in the midst of nature will be helpful in ebbing your sad energy.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Can A Separation From Your Spouse Save Your Marriage?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDo you feel that your marriage is in a crisis? If it is so then you may be in a dilemma about what to do next. There is a possibility that you have not left any stones unturned to salvage your marriage starting from undergoing joint therapy sessions to dating one another once again. However, things seemed to have got even worse. In case you are at the rope’ end, your marriage could still be saved by opting for a trial separation. Although. It may not be intuitive to keep both of you together, in some cases, separations have proved to be useful for those couples who are going through a rough patch and have managed to bind them together.

Steps for Trying A Trial Separation

Spending some time away from your spouse

For several months, you and your spouse have been bickering against each other and arguing heavily. Perhaps, you need to show a little fondness toward each other now. If you and your spouse are away from each other, getting away from the daily grind becomes simpler and regular fights may also subside for the better. You can get time to retrospect at a lot of things, which you could have missed out when you were together. It is usual for everyone to need a little space on certain occasions. If there has been trouble in your marriage for some time, it is not possible to see something nice about your partner at all. However, separation can give you an opportunity to get away from them. It can also serve as a reminder of your love for one another.

Realize that you appreciate one another

When you stay with someone, it is easy to take many things for granted. It is especially true when both you and your spouse are living together for many years. Both of you can call
each other in the middle of a crisis and there is always a person to handle the mess in their daily life. But when you go through a trial separation, it becomes easier to learn and understand that you are missing your spouse at your side. You may also realize their appeal as your spouse.

Go for a legal separation

Though it is not compulsory to get in touch with a divorce lawyer for figuring out ways of staying in different houses for some time, a lawyer can come handy to ensure that things work out according to your convenience.

You need a break sometimes

At times, a separation is a time when you don’t have to worry about the well-being of others. You can utilize this time to go out on a vacation with your friends. You may also get time to make up your mind on your exact feelings are about your relationship with your spouse.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation