Why Mediation is Good for an Uncontested Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationIn case you are contemplating divorce, you may feel apprehensive about approaching a court. Most people feel scared and nervous with the prospect of going to a court and testify before a judge while they are going through one of the most critical phases in their lives. Stress is the last thing you want to go through at this crucial juncture of your life. Mediation can prove to be an ideal replacement for a trial in the courtroom in divorce cases. It is a process that serves its purpose for cases of uncontested divorces as well as for those divorce cases that can eventually become uncontested when a skilled Orange County divorce mediator is involved.

Benefits of taking assistance from a professional mediator

Resolve marital conflicts: Effective mediation can help in resolving marital conflicts between the couples and arrive at a consensus about the different divorce terms. The purpose of mediation is to concentrate on working together and it is not an adversarial procedure. An unbiased mediator guides both the parties while addressing their individual needs and solve their problems.

Spouses can remain in control: Both the parties can choose their discussion topics and define any settlement terms instead of the details being dictated by a court. The spouses have complete control over the discussion process.

Mediation is less costly: Litigation costs much more than mediation. If a spouse has to get the divorce through a trial then his or her divorce attorneys need to spend several hours for appearing in the courtroom and drafting motions.

More flexibility: A mediation process is much more flexible as compared to a litigation process. When you approach a court, you have to be present when your hearing is scheduled by the court, On the other hand, with the assistance of professional mediation, sessions can be arranged according to your own convenience. It is possible to participate in a mediation meeting even via a conference call or an online video chat.

Quicker resolution of case: Thanks to mediation, you need not wait for a date from the court that may take several days. Since you can schedule your mediation sessions, achieving resolution is a faster process and you can start your new life thereafter.

Why mediation is good for uncontested divorces?

Are your expecting to get an uncontested divorce? If that is the case, mediation is an effective process to work out the contentious issues in such a way that proves to be beneficial for all the involved parties like your kids, your spouse and you. It is a process that offers a way to work closely with your estranged partner to sort out all the pending issues without the trouble of approaching a court.

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

What Most People Don’t Know About Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationAlthough there is a positive reputation attached to a divorce mediation as a sensible alternative to a litigation, there are very few people who are well familiar with the process. Contrary to popular belief, divorce mediation is quite a different process. It is meant for those reasonable couples who are unable to sort out their conflicts and misunderstandings by themselves.

There are many such couples who believe that there is no need for a divorce mediator. Rather, they should seek out a good family-law lawyer for getting their settlement through a court. Further, their situation does not qualify to undergo mediation since mediation is a process to sort out disputes and there is no dispute between them. These people feel that they have everything what mediation can offer to them. They also opine that their best option is to get the settlement done through an approval of a judge, in order to save their precious money and time.

What is divorce mediation all about?

It is a technique of dispute resolution between an estranged couple outside the court, which helps them to sort out their differences in an amicable manner. There is minimal involvement or intervention of the legal system of the state.

Mediation facilitates a structured process for reducing the friction and differences, which can be typically found while spouses converse during their negotiations or settlements. The process accomplishes it by fostering a non-controversial ambiance, encouraging both the parties to be amicable while sharing their concerns and thoughts to their estranged partners.

Orange County divorce mediators use an impartial and neutral third party approach so that the disputes between estranged couples can reach a logical and peaceful compromise, which is acceptable to both.

Role of a divorce mediator

Do not be under an impression that a divorce mediator is an arbitrator, judge or a referee. Plus, they are not the people to take the final call on which party will win or lose. The only job of a mediator is to guide both the parties while negotiations are going on.

A spouse should be at their best behavior if they hope to convince the other party to be okay with an agreement outside the court. It can be quite tough to accomplish it since a divorce may not put the parties in their most charming behavior, It is precisely where a mediator comes in the picture. They can direct the dialogue and interaction between the two parties so that the potential hazards during the negotiation process can be minimized.

In order to ensure that the mediation process is fruitful, both the parties should be reasonable in their thinking for negotiating a final settlement.

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

How Divorce Mediation Is A Prototype For Positive Co-Parenting

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMost marriages don’t end at the point of physical separation of the two partners, but were most likely dying slowly for a few years before that. In many cases by the time spouses actually separate and file for divorce there are already a lot of negative feelings for each other. When separating couples find it hard to agree on anything and hostilities run high it would be wise to hire a divorce mediator.

While having a divorce mediator is a good idea for the smooth progress of a divorce it is even more important when children are involved. Parents who are going through their own share of trials during a divorce can often overlook the impact the process is having on their children. Having a divorce mediator gives room for an objective third party to step in and provide constructive solutions which is in the best interest of all involved.

The Advantages Of Hiring A Divorce Mediator   

  1. You and your spouse can sit down together with the mediator and decide on the terms of your divorce. A meeting like this gives you the space to discuss issues like property division, paying off of debt, etc. and find workable solutions that you both agree on.
  1. Together you can both work out a plan for custody rights and parenting of your children. Decisions like whether you will co-parent or one parent gets full custody while the other gets visitation rights, can be taken with both your cooperation.
  1. If you decide to co-parent, together you can make a road-map for how things will proceed from this point on. Many points like how the child or children’s time is distributed between both parents, who gets what duties and what to do in emergency situations can be discussed.
  1. Any roadblocks that come up during the meeting can be arbitrated by the mediator and a solution can be found peacefully.

How Divorce Mediation Helps Co-Parenting 

When you consider all the points mentioned above, you also see that having a divorce mediator trains you to work as a team. Co-parenting requires teamwork and learning to cooperate with your former spouse peacefully is invaluable to the emotional and physical well-being of the children.

We offer divorce lawyer and divorce mediator services in Orange County, CA. Our practice is based on California specific divorce laws and we follow all the requirements put forward by the state. Our divorce mediator services have facilitated the amicable divorce of several couples and created a smooth transaction for the children.

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

Is Divorce Mediation Right For You?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationThese days, couples can get divorced through various ways. Some of these ways are litigation, collaborative or mediation. But how do you conclude what is the right method for you? Divorce mediation is a method of procuring a divorce when a neutral and unbiased third party, selected by both the spouses can facilitate discussions to address and resolve various issues related to a divorce. But mediation is not binding unless it is mutually agreed by both the parties.

Check out some of the common principles through which divorce mediation can be conducted to resolve issues:

Private

A mediation process engages only those stakeholders whose presence is needed to reach an agreement. The stakeholders typically include the spouses, a financial neutral or a coach if required and the mediator, agreed by both sides. The records or notes exchanged in the mediation process can never be used in future court proceedings if the mediation does not work out for whatever reasons since they are public records. In a majority of cases, mediators tend to destroy the mediation notes and records after the process is completed for this particular reason.

Voluntary

It could be made mandatory for both the parties to attend an initial meeting if a judge orders so. However, follow up participation is voluntary in nature. The court cannot impose a resolution on either spouse. Plus, all resolutions that are arrived at should be voluntary and mutually agreed upon.

Confidential

Strict confidentiality should be maintained for all mediation sessions and are restricted to only those professionals that are approved by both the spouses as mentioned above. In case a party requests for any kind of access to mediation information, both the parties should put their signatures allowing so. Both sides should also be willing to the fact that secrecy should be maintained due to some compelling reasons or it is beneficial to do so.

Decision-making should be done in an informed way

Both the parties should have the essential information required to make informed decisions with respect to the resolution of their conflicts.

Whether divorce mediation will work for you or not depends on your unique situation. It may work out for those couples who want to divorce by embracing a cost-effective procedure and need to maintain a harmonious relationship even after their divorce is finalized so that they can co-parent their kids successfully. But there could be a scenario when one of the spouses may disagree to mediate. In such scenarios, opting for litigated or collaborative divorce can be a better alternative.

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

Symptoms Your Kids Are Being Affected By Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county custody mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce triggers both kids as well as adults to make several adjustments and face tough challenges. However, there is a difference in how each child responds to their parent’s divorce. While a majority of them will handle these challenges with maturity and sensibility and grow up into well-adjusted adults, there are some kids who go through behavioral and emotional difficulties when their parents go through a divorce. And though there are differences in the long-term reaction in a child to the divorce of their parents, many kids may go through emotional distress and emotions like conflicts, confusion, guilt, fury, anxiety, and sadness in the short-term. Such emotions pop up when there is a question of loyalty towards their parents and a strong desire to spend more time with their absent parent.

When you notice the following symptoms of distress with your child, you need to take appropriate action such as taking them to a therapist so that they can overcome their emotional problems related to the divorce.

Drastic change in academic performance

Do you find your kid is showing dismal performance in the tests? Is he losing interest in his school activities? This could be a telltale sign that he is emotionally disturbed.

Refuses to spend time with his/her parent

When there is no issue of child abuse in a family and yet a kid shows an unwillingness to spend their time with the parent, it can be a symptom that the kid feels the requirement of taking sides. A child should not feel that they are forcefully put in a situation where they have to select one parent over their other.

Increase in certain type of physical complaints

When you find them complaining about their physical conditions such as stomach aches or headaches quite often, it may mean that they are going through a tough time to come up with the divorce of their parents.  Allergy, stomachaches, and headaches are some of the most common symptoms that your kid is going through an emotional distress.

Prolonged and significant change in the behavior

You have always known that your child to be extremely polite bit you may find them being inconsiderate all of a sudden when your divorce case is going on. Your outgoing, gregarious and talkative kid can express less interest in social activities and friends.

Does not show keenness to engage in family, school, athletic or social activities

This is another important symptom that your children are clinically depressed as a result of your divorce from your spouse.

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

How To Choose The Best Divorce Mediator

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationSelecting the best divorce mediator should be the first important agreement that should be made jointly by the divorcing spouses right at the start of their divorce mediation process. Thus, it is one of the most crucial decisions for both the spouses to make during the course of their divorce.  Several factors should be taken into account while selecting the best Orange County divorce mediator. Read on to know some of the essential qualities in a mediator you and your estranged spouse should look for prior to taking the final call.

1. Should be educated in mediation as well as dispute resolution
Make sure that the divorce mediator you are choosing has the essential education for resolving disputes and mediation training. When a person is pursuing yearly training on mediation and is educated in resolving disputes, they can serve your purpose well while the negotiation process is on.

2. He or she should be specialized in family mediation matters
You need to confirm that the practice area of the said mediator is solely dedicated towards family and divorce mediation. When you choose a proficient family mediator, they are highly skilled because of their domain knowledge in practicing divorce mediation. A good divorce mediator should have the necessary expertise and a specialized skill set with necessary knowledge to help you as well as the other party through divorce. When you choose a professional whose primary focus area is not divorce mediation, you may not get the kind of help you are expecting to resolve your divorce issues. You should directly query them to find out how much percentage do family and divorce mediation constitute out of their entire practice experience. Typically, this should be one hundred percent. But a majority percentage is a good sign too.

3. Trust factor is highly crucial
Select a divorce mediator that you can trust wholeheartedly. It is perhaps the most critical aspect to consider while selecting your divorce mediator. You should be able to trust them for guiding you through the entire process. After all, there could be a high degree of emotions while the mediation is going on. Plus, when there are kids in your marriage, greater considerations should be made while discussing their future. Hence, your divorce mediator should be a person with whose you can always be at ease both as a professional as well as an individual.

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

Tips to Keep Your Kids Out of Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many such instances when kids may find themselves trapped while their parents are getting divorced.  In majority cases, conflict precedes a divorce. When a couple is childless, they would simply divorce one another and may avoid seeing them again. However, things are different when they have children from their marriage.  In such a scenario, you may have to keep meeting your former spouse repeatedly as the spouses need to co-parent. The responsibility lies with both the parents to ensure that their co-parenting relationship does not create a stress in the kids’ lives. After all, they should not feel entangled in the midst of the conflict of their parents. The following tips will ensure that children are kept away from stressful and emotional situations.

Do not articulate your negative thoughts about the other parent in front of your kids

This is not a difficult task to accomplish. Whenever your children are with you, you should concentrate on them. Avoid being vocal about your negative thoughts on the spouse while interacting with your children. All that toxic stuff need to be compartmentalized. Simply keep them sealed and do not share them with your kids.

You should not expect your kids will not share secrets with their other parent

You should always give your ex-spouse the same kind of respect that he/she had before you divorced. While this may take some effort and acting, but you should always be courteous to the other parent for the welfare of your kids. This will, in turn, ensure that your offspring will also be respectful towards you.

Avoid discussing financial matters with your kids before or even after your divorce.

In case your divorce lawsuit seems to be an expensive affair, your kids need not know the details of it.  Moreover, if you are going through financial constraints after your divorce, you should not use your little ones to vent out your worries and apprehensions.  In case you are having financial issues while still being married, avoid discussing the matter with the kids. Do not say or discuss anything that will make your kids become concerned over your financial crisis.

You should not expect that your kids should take your side in the divorce

Do not treat your divorce as just a game where a scoreboard is being maintained and there are two teams. It is not a job of your children to act as your cheerleaders during the divorce.

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

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

8 Signs You Should Skip Mediation and Retain A Divorce Lawyer

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationThere are many couples who want to legally separate or divorce from one another via mediation instead of opting for a litigation. These couples do not want to have animosity with their partners post the divorce. In such scenarios, experienced Orange County divorce mediators may be the people to contact. However, all couples may not be ideal for going through the mediation process. Check out those 8 signs that indicate that perhaps your marriage is not appropriate for divorce mediation.

1. Even if you do not win everything you would love to see your partner lose
In case your partner is hell bent in making your life worse by insisting that you cannot go on a holiday with the children while it is convenient, or disagrees to every suggestion you come up with just because they want to spoil your well-intended plans, the other party is not a good candidate to go for a mediation.

2. There is no intention to settle issues through mediation
Mediation can be a lengthy process that may work against a spouse. After all, a mediator cannot force both the parties to do something. There are a few unscrupulous folks who often use the process to avoid paying support. If your ex is such a person, it is better to approach the court first and then try out mediation at a later stage.

3. When a person is in a hurry
As mentioned above, mediation may not be a speedy process. So, if a couple is in a hurry to resolve matters quickly, then mediation is not recommended.

4. When the estranged couple has had a violent and stressed relationship

When the couple had an abusive relationship during their married life, they are not eligible candidates for mediation. In such cases, both parties may never see eye to eye on most matters, making things even worse.

5. Spouses are unable to advocate for them self
There are cases where one spouse appears as the dominating and aggressive while the other party is meek and submissive. Thus, the latter may not be in able to advocate for himself or herself even though there are many issues that should be discussed in the best interests of their kids.

6. A party may not wish to be good with the other party even though the latter feels otherwise
The success of a mediation process depends on both the parties wishing one another well even if they are not on the best of terms with one another. They need to compromise at times and understand the perspective of each other. If they are not willing to listen to one another, mediation may not work out.

7. One party is not ready to see the other’s viewpoint
Although a spouse may be open-minded about several things, they may still feel that their version is the only real version. It is particularly true at this crucial juncture of their life. When both the parties are not ready to accept both their versions can co-exist, mediation may not be an ideal process for them.

8. One party is affluent and just want to dwindle their money
There are some people who joke that having too much money is not an ideal state to be in while undergoing a divorce. A lawyer can give false hopes that if they approach a court, the judge may take their side.

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

3 Tips on Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsIt is not easy to be a co-parent, especially after you have split from your spouse and your relationship with your former partner is strained. You may have apprehensions about the parenting abilities of your ex-spouse, worried about your child support or stressed about some issues. You could also be tired of the ongoing conflict and feel that all that animosity between you and ex-partner will never disappear.

However, when you co-parent in an amicable manner with your former spouse, you can provide security, the close relationship with your kids with both their parents and stability that they require. It is for the well-being of your children that there will be a possibility to overcome the challenges associated with co-parenting and build up a cordial and working association with your ex-spouse. These tips will help you to resolve conflicts on contentious issues, be consistent and remain calm so that the custody and parenting schedule with your ex-spouse works well and your children feel secure and happy.

Tip 1: Keep your anger and animosity aside

If you want to enjoy a fruitful co-parenting experience, you need to have a check on your emotions. This means that you should keep your hurt, resentment, and anger at bay for fulfilling the needs of your kids. It is true that keeping such emotions at a distance could be the toughest part to work towards a good working relationship with your former husband but nevertheless, it is an extremely important one. Being successful as co-parents are opposed how you or your ex-spouse may feel about one another. Rather it is all about the future well-being, stability, and happiness of your kid. Avoid putting your kids in between. It is highly possible that you may not lose all the bitterness or anger about your divorce ever. However, the best technique will be to compartmentalize your emotions and keep telling yourself that these are your concerns but not your kid’s; you should ensure that the issues you have with your ex-are kept away from the kids.

Tip 2: Try To improve your communication with your ex

Meaningful, consistent and peaceful communication with your former partner is a must for making your co-parenting click, although they may not appear to be possible. However, everything starts with your mindset. You need to remind yourself that the peaceful communication between both of you can be highly needed for the well-being of your child. Prior to getting in touch with your ex, introspect how your discussion could affect your kid and make a resolution to conduct yourself in a dignified manner. The key point of every talk that you have with your ex should revolve around your kid. You need to also note in this context that meeting your former spouse physically may not be essential always. You can speak to him or her over the phone, exchange messages, emails or texts on a majority of the occasions.

Tip 3: You need to co-parent as a single team

Being a good parent also involves having frequent decisions with your ex-irrespective of what you feel about one another. When you communicate and cooperate with one another without bickering or hurting one another, making decisions become much easier and simpler on everyone. When both of you work together as a team, decision-making with respect to your child becomes quite easy.

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