Issues When Dealing With Commingled Funds In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsPrior to getting married, the property owned by you is regarded by the court as your “separate property”. This dignified that such a property is owned only by you and not by your spouse. For example, if you have $15,000 in your bank account and own a property while getting married, you are bringing your separate property in the marriage. Such a property remains your separate property if it is not “commingled” with your spouse’s separate property brought into your married life. For instance, in case you get married and both of you stay in the same house that is owned by you prior to the marriage. However, if the incomes of both you and your spouse are being contributed toward paying the mortgage, such a house is automatically counted as a marital property. In other words, it becomes a property your spouse may be interested in,provided both of you decide to divorce in the future.

The job of splitting property as well as other marital assets could be a tough one and full of conflicts especially for those couples where there has been a commingling of funds in the course of the marriage.

While negotiations continue for divorce settlement, determining which property should go to whom while depend on the degree of the occurrence of commingling of funds during that marriage as well as the complexity of transactions like home or automobile purchases, a big and crucial role is played by commingled funds during a divorce.

In case you fail to keep a thorough accounting of what is being done with your assets and properties during your marriage, it is not easy to prove that the purchase of that property was not done with commingled funds. The following are some of the tips for all those spouses who do not want to commingle during their marriage.

Enter into a prenuptial agreement

It makes sense to have your prenuptial agreement in place, which will clearly state, which properties will be counted as marital properties and which will be not in the event of a divorce.

Avoid paying off marital debt using your separate property

You should not use your separate property for paying off any marital debt. For instance, if you receive a hefty amount of money from your parents as a gift, the money should be used towards paying off a credit card debt or your home debt. You need to note that when funds benefit a marriage, they become marital property.

You should have separate bank accounts

Funds should only be deposited in a joint account when you want to count it as marital funds. When you deposit funds in your separate and individual bank account, it is regarded as your separate property.

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

How To Deal With Your Kids Being Away On Vacation with Your Ex-Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Divorce Mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you plan for vacations after your separation or divorce, it should be done with a great deal of caution. It is better to stay away from situations that may trigger conflict pretension right in front of your kids.

Here are some comforting and cool tips to explore co-parenting while a vacation is on to ensure that your kids are adequately buffered from the harsh realities of life.

You can collaborate with the other parent so that logistics can be planned in advance

Collaborating in advance will be helpful in setting up new traditions especially when you pay heed to the wishes of your children and get support from your extended family members. On most of the occasions, kids hardly have much control or say over the plans and scheduling of their parents. Thus, when you give them some sort of a control over the traditions and on certain activities, they will feel excited about their vacation instead of being apprehensive about the possible changes,

Stop asking your children to select between father and mother

Both children and their parents benefit when special occasions and vacations are shared equally. On many occasions, the way a holiday gets split may also depend on how old the kids are, whether there is any involvement of travel and how far is one parent’s home from the other.

The true spirit of the vacations should be communicated non-verbally as well as through words

Most holidays involve emotions like giving, peace, love and caring. Whenever the kids spend time with one of the parents, it is natural for the other parent may feel sad and lonely during holidays. However, it makes sense to realize that kids should experience togetherness with both their parents, There is no harm and letting your kid know that you will miss them when they are away but will be fine. Avoid situations where our children start feeling guilty or responsible for their parent’s emotional well-being. While the temptation to tell them that you will miss them a lot and do not know how you will cope in their absence, rephrase it slightly.

Tell them you are sure that you are sure that they will have a great time with the other parent and you will wait to hear all about the holiday. Have a plan in advance so that you have your friends or family near you when the kids are away. Such an action will help you to manage your own emotional requirements in their absence. You should hope that your kids feel free and enjoy their vacation with their other parent and stop worrying about you.

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

How to Make Co-Parenting a Great Success

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsCo-parenting is particularly important to do for all those parents, including those who have had high-conflict divorces. The idea is to mainly concentrate on bringing up their kids without engaging in stressful communication with one another after the divorce.

Here are some easy tips to ensure that co-parenting is a great success.

Use an organizer

You can use a parenting notebook or an organizer website to communicate effectively. Note down all the relevant and vital communications pertinent to the visit of your child like homework, meals, behavior strategies deployed by you to calm your child, bedtime and so on.  Your notebook should have a mention of the different events including both behavioral as well as emotional that the other parent can refer to.

Work closely with an unbiased third party

For any contentious issues, changes and disagreements with the other parent that needs a great deal of discussion, it is better to work with an independent third party. This person should be neutral like a therapist or an experienced mediator. The meetings conducted in the presence of the third party should be time bound and scheduled. All your key concerns can be taken up during these meetings.

Emails for non-urgent matters

Both of you can use emails for discussing matters that are not that urgent. You need to also make sure that these emails should not exceed more than two times in a month. Try to restrict them to a single topic. When you use emails to communicate with the other parent, you get a chance to reread what you wrote so that you are certain that it is not disrespectful. Plus, it also enables your ex-spouse to get a breathing space for responding. Avoid giving parenting advice on these emails.

Once the divorce is finalized, it is crucial for both the parents to be involved in taking care of the kids despite their conflicts and not so cordial relationship.  Co-parenting enables both the parents to remain involved in the lives of their kids while not fighting with one another.

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

What Is Divorce Coaching And How Can It Be Useful To You?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhile terms like litigation and divorce attorneys are known to many, everyone is not so aware of divorce coaches. A good divorce coach may have a very important role to play when your divorce proceeding is going on. If you are wondering what a divorce coach is, they are individuals who can guide you to explore different facts of your divorce.  They are particularly of help for all those parties who could be moving ahead with an amicable separation.

Defining divorce coaching

A third party who can offer assistance at different points while a divorce is going on is called a divorce coach. They are professionals usually having a background in family or marriage therapy. A divorce coach can prove to be a valuable asset for all those couples who want to separate amicably and yet are having a tough time in conducting a productive and stress free discussion without the presence of an intermediary. A divorce coach frequently helps in making both the parties communicate about tough and contentious discussion points so that the talks do not take an ugly turn and there is a better result for the concerned parties.

Different roles of a divorce coach

Divorce coaching may take place in several ways. A divorce coach can get involved in the difficult phases of a divorce so that the couple finds it easier to figure out the right divorce method for them. They also enable the couples to sort out their different marital challenges and live together for a long time to come.

A divorce coach has a significant role to play when the actual divorce process continues. Their key aim is to ensure that there is a successful communication between both the parties so that the couple can arrive at an agreement that is mutually beneficial in the long term.

Last, but not the last, a divorce coach can also play a big part in offering a helping hand during the parenting process post a couple’s divorce in some cases. It is a specialized form of divorce coaching which is referred to as a “Co-parenting coach.” Such a coach is equipped in navigating through the post-divorce parenting process to come up with the best possible solution for the concerned family.

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

How To Get Your Kids Used To Co-Parenting

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you give a priority to the needs of your kid over your own, you are taking the right starting step towards functioning as an efficient co-parent. Researches prove that kids who got almost equal time to spend with both their parents had fewer trust issues and a higher degree of self-esteem when they grow up. On the other hand, although the agreement for your parental time mentions an unequal division between the two houses, you should contemplate balancing it so that it works out to be for the psychological and emotional well-being for your kids in the long-term.

Additionally, your kid can also benefit when you guide them well. After all, they do not have the necessary clarity of making sound decisions, insight and the wisdom of spending their time with the parents. You need to inspire your kids that they should also spend quality time with the other parent. Your children can be extra sensitive to unkind words and negative body language. Hence you need to ensure that both your words and tone are neutral or positive while speaking about your former spouse while your kids are present.

Your children may develop loyalty conflicts if you and the other parent are not cautious

Although your kids may not be the cause of your divorce, they may feel responsible for the lack or of happiness in their parents’ lives. There could be scenarios when your kid might take the side of one parent and brain against the other parent. Proper understanding, empathy and a good communication channel can make you resolve loyalty conflicts that they could be filling as a result of your marriage break-up.

Assist your children in achieving a smooth transition between two houses

Your child may feel stressful while shifting between two homes. There could be occasions when your kid may feel apprehensive at the possibility of leaving one of the houses and spend some time with the other parent. But this does not signify that your kid cares for any less about the other parents or will not benefit when they depend more time in the other house. It is imperative to note that opposing the transition is not an unnatural response of your kid who is drastically looking stound for security.

When both parents work together to coordinate the social calendars, activities, and school matters along with other areas of your children’s lives, such co-parenting can be an enriching experience for your children.  It will generate a positive daily experience with the kids regardless of where they will be staying on a particular day.

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

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIn a majority of scenarios, the couples file for their divorce when they are sick of handling their marital problems. However, the million dollar question is whether divorce is really the ultimate solution to cope up with problems that pop up in a marriage or not. Or does it create more issues in a situation that is already stressful? In fact there are two sides to the coin, which means any divorce has both pros and cons attached to it The problem is that most of the couples just consider the pros and overlook the cons till the time a petition for divorce is filed in the court and when they are in the midst of an unpleasant divorce litigations and the negative impacts of their divorce sometimes. Here are dome f the pros and cons associated with a divorce that you should consider before going to your family court system.

Pros of a divorce

  • This is not the first time your spouse gas cheated on you. He or she has done it before too and you can easily refer to such a person as a serial cheater. In such a scenario, it is better to bid adieu to your spouse. After all, you deserve will be better off without such an infidel partner in your life.
  • When your marriage has turned into a violent situation, it is time for you to move on in life without such an abusive partner. In case you do decide to divorce, domestic abuse is the best reason to do so.
  • Your spouse resorts to name calling dominate and tries to rake over your life and give you no freedom at all. In fact, he or she us a complete bully and you have lost your peace of mind. It is time for you to divorce such a person and start your life fresh.
  • When your spouse and you do not share a normal, intimate relationship that a couple should have, there is definitely something amiss in your marriage. When you are married to a person who does not feel that sex is an important part of the marriage, perhaps it is time to move on.

Cons of a divorce

  • Your children can be negatively affected by your divorce. In such scenarios, you can make them feel secured by making their well-being a top priority during and after the divorce. However, you need to understand that your divorce is as tough for you as for your kids to digest.
  • You may have to face financial constraints during as well as after your divorce comes through. In case you are the male partner, you need to pay for expenses like spousal support and child support. On the other hand, when you are the female partner, your earnings will fall drastically and you may have to struggle to keep things good.

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

Tips on Co-Parenting After a Stressful Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDid you go through a divorce that was highly stressful and marred by conflict?  You may have also realized by now that your conflict with the ex may not end even after the final divorce decree. Moreover, if you and your partner have kids from the marriage there could be tensed moments while co-parenting after a bitter divorce. The furious parent could be least cooperative and hostile to work with you even for the sake of your kids.

Moreover, your hostile former spouse may be noncommittal and is not open for negotiation or communication. He or she could be least bothered about doctor’s appointments, scheduling visitations, school issues and health issues of the children. Your ideal response in such scenarios is to not show your reaction and have a low expectation. As a reasonable parent, you may feel like giving in at these times so that the conflict between your spouse and you can be minimal. A reasonable parent may also end up making excuses for the bad behavior of their former husband/wife and hope that things will change in the future.

However, it is likely that nothing will change so it is up to you for handling these tough situations in such a way so that your sanity is maintained and you are able to discharge your parental responsibilities well. Here are some of the ways of doing this.

Take help of a parenting coordinator

It may be possible for your family court in the locality to appoint someone ego will act as a parenting coordinator in situations of high conflict. While this could be a costly alternative, having a coordinator may help you to have a healthier relationship with your ex and discharge the co-parenting responsibilities effectively.

You can ask a family member or a close friend to mediate

In case you are unable to pay for the services of a parenting coordinator, you can ask one of the family members or a friend to act as the go-between for both of you. There could be someone in the family or among your friends who is close to your ex as well as you. He or she may succeed in smoothing out the issues like visitation pickups and drop-offs. The person may write emails and try to act as a mediator to resolve conflicts that may come up.

Do not contact

When your attempts at communicating with your former have been futile and you faced abusive and demeaning languages, you may refuse communication. Try to avoid responding to any such communication, which is humiliating for you and is not respectful. While it may not result in good co-parenting, you will at least have a peace of mind.

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

What Are The 3 Most Prominent Divorce Expenses?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsWhile getting married can be one of the most wonderful experiences in one’s life, a divorce can change all that. Your world can turn upside down in such trying times as you have to go through several types of divorce expenses apart from feeling emotionally and physically drained out. You can get set for all those big expenses through different ways and should be prepared to deal with them before they eventually arrive. But the most crucial way to be ready for your divorce is by being knowledgeable about all those impending expenses and what they will actually cost you in the coming days, months and years.

Mediation or divorce litigation expenses

Though litigation is a common phenomenon in many divorces, mediation can be a more effective and cheaper way of handling a situation. The at tenets of both sides are paid for conducting the negotiations during a litigation and the case may even go on trial to defend each party’s personal belongings that they believe are rightfully theirs. But in the case of a mediation, a neutral and unbiased third party functions by discussing with the couple for arriving at an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

Divorce expenses with respect to travel and work

With the increasing popularity of self-employment and telecommuting, you just cannot afford to overlook this expense. While you may not commute physically to the office daily, your job may entail travel at times. Previously when you were married, you could do that since your spouse could keep an eye on the kids when you were away or you had the necessary financial support their jobs provided for making your job easy although there were travel expenses.

Expenses related to child care

While this expense may not apply to all couples who are getting divorced, it is a big expense head for couples with kids during their divorce proceeding as well as after it gets completed, When you and the other parent opt for a joint custody, you need to decide if you really want to bring them up single-handedly or would not like to take date of them., divorce expenses after the case is over and while it is going on may mount up for you. For example, in a joint custody, you need to pick up your kid from your former spouse’s house no matter where they stay post the divorce. Moreover, you have to take of them for six months in a year entirely on your own. If you are a telecommuting or self-employed individual, it could be an irritating thing since their work area can become a play area now. Likewise, if you are a working parent, you need to keep your kids in a good day care for which you may have to pay hundreds of bucks every month.

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

Why Divorce Mediation Is Better Than Litigation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange CountyThe decision on whether one should settle your divorce case through mediation or litigation will depend on individual circumstances of every case. There are many cases when the two parties can sit together and negotiate their settlement details through mediation.  However, there are other cases where mediation becomes a futile exercise and the two parties fail to. You can else enter into a deal with the come to any amicable settlement.

Mediation is a cost-effective technique to resolve the differences in a divorce in some circumstances. But there are other circumstances when one of the parties or both of them need to approach a court to get the desired outcomes.

Merits of settling a divorce case

Settlement offers a host of benefits as compared to a divorce lawsuit or a legal dispute. Here are some of them.

Stress

It is possible to reduce stressful situations to some extent by opting for a settlement as compared to going for a trial or litigation.  The latter may have unexpected outcomes and both parties may not like to stand on a witness stand in the court and share their private stories with the judge in front of many people. Additionally, they may not like the prospect of being cross-examined by the lawyer for the other party.

Less expensive

When the parties opt for a trial, the process involves experts, attorneys, time, travel, witnesses among others. In case a case can be settled prior to going on a trial, several such expenses are drastically reduced or removed altogether.

More predictable as compared to trial

Any good divorce lawyer will mention that the decision of a jury is not quite predictable. In comparison, you can declare your terms for the divorce settlement agreements. You can also enter into a deal either the other party, which is acceptable to both of you.

Privacy

If you opt for settling your case, many of its details are not included in the court documents. They are not treated as public records; clause god confidentiality is included in several court documents.

Sense of finality prevails

If a couple opts for litigation, the party that lists the case has a right to appeal against the judgment made by a court. Thus, the divorce process may drag on for several months. On the other hand, a settlement is not usually appealed.

When is it better to opt for litigation?

When either both the parties or one of them do not agree to settle or refuses to come to a negotiating table then a lawsuit can become imperative at other times when a plaintiff needs to settle his or her sense of what is wrong and what is right, they may opt for a legal proceeding.

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

These Are The Emotional Phases of Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsNo two people react the same way to their divorce. However, there are certain emotional phases everyone goes through while experiencing their divorce.

There are certain phases that could be as painful as the feeling when a dear one passes away. When you know what to expect, it becomes easier for you to sail through these phases. However, the negative feelings may still be within you. You will also find that done phases are easier to move through as compared to the others.

  1. Refusing to believe

You may find it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that the divorce is happening to you. In fact, you are not ready to accept the end of your relationship and frantically struggle to find out answers to your marital problems. And you still spend your time convinced that when you do or say the right thing, there is a possibility of the return of your spouse. You are convinced that your divorce cannot be a solution for the marital problems both of you are going through.

  1. Surprise and shock

Emotions like numbness, fury, panic or feeling that you are becoming crazy are normal in this phase. There is a swing between a hope that your marriage can still be restored and sadness that all is over in your marriage. You will feel it impossible to handle these feelings. Moreover, there are certain fears you start experiencing while thinking about the future all alone. Questions like whether you will find love again or not and how to survive after your divorce will start haunting you.

  1. It will be a roller coaster ride of emotions

It feels difficult for you to settle your thoughts and emotions. At one moment you see a gleam of hope in your life but the next moment you feel agony and despair. This is a phase where you also try to introspection what exactly happened. When you can understand and appreciate that, your pain will ebb and everything will start making sense once again.

  1. Negotiating

In this phase, you may still cling to the hope that a restoration of your marriage is not entirely impossible. You are willing and flexible to alter things in yourself or do anything if it will make your spouse return home.

  1. Letting go

This is a phase where you eventually realize that your marriage has ended. You cannot say nor do anything to alter that.

  1. Accepting facts

Your obsessive thoughts have stopped bothering you in this phase. You no longer feel the urge to restore your marriage and start feeling that you can have a fulfilling and new life before you.

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