Things to Know before Separating From Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsTo separate from one’s spouse or partner is one of the most difficult and painful decisions to make. If you are a married person, the lives of you and your spouse get intertwined in many ways. Separation can be a devastating experience when a spouse is still in love with the other spouse.

However, it is important to note in this context that a divorce may not be a necessary outcome of every separation. There are several couples who look at separation as a much-needed opportunity to work out issues and also get some space to think. No matter what the ultimate outcomes are, one should not take the decision of separating in a light-hearted manner. In case you are contemplating to separate from your spouse, these are some of the things you should know:

It s crucial to lay down some ground rules

When you are trying to make up your mind about separating, establishing ground rules may not be something you take seriously. But when you establish a few ground rules to start with, it becomes simpler to point out what you are looking out from your separation. Firstly, it is important to indulge in some serious discussions with your partner. You should make a joint decision on if you will be in touch with each other during the period of separation, where you both will live and so on. It is also critical to have a consensus on how to take care of difficult issues such as visitation arrangements and child care and whether you can date a new person or not.

Be happy of having a strong support network

When you have a great support network in place, life becomes easier while you are separated from your spouse. Having a supportive family and close friends during this trying period will make your life easier and calmer. You can also contemplate consulting a professional and reputable therapist to guide you. Such experts will listen to your problems and guide you to sort out your deeper issues. 

Feeling relieved is not unnatural

When your marriage is going through a rocky phase, the decision to separate and the process of separation can bring in a deep sense of relief. So, such emotions are not unusual at all. However, at the same time, you should not regard this sense of relief as a symptom that you will be happier to separate forever. Separating from your spouse does not signify that your choice of partner was incorrect. It only indicates that the present situation is not correct and there are some things that must change.

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

Why Do Some Couples Divorce After Decades Together?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen a couple decides to opt for a divorce even after spending many decades together in their marriage, it can be a shocking and a baffling news for them as well as the people around them. After all, they were regarded as the perfect couples till now. So friends and close family members simply wonder what went wrong in the relationship. Even people who are no longer in the close circle of these couples may start spreading gossips about the possible reasons for the breakup of the marriage. Was one of the partners gay or a lesbian? Did one of them cheat on the other? Were they just trying to show the world that their marriage was a success because of the children? No matter what the actual cause of the break up is, it is an unhappy and undesirable scenario. Even the happiest of couples may find their marriage crumble after many years. The big question in such cases is where the symptoms of the breakup clear for some time? Read on to know some of the top causes that made even the most seasoned couples opt for a divorce.

Too many expectations

While couples take an oath to be together until they are dead, they do not work that way for many couples. When a calamity or misfortune falls upon one of the partners or spouses like a chronic illness or a job loss, a spouse hopes that his or her partner will stand by them and help them to face such changes and uncertainty. In real life, that may not happen always. There are several occasions when a spouse may feel he or she has tolerated enough. They may opt to move away from their relationship. The partner or the spouse who was committed to the relationship or marriage should reconsider expectations and priorities.

Gap in communication

Communication is not only about speaking to the spouse. It also constitutes of understanding and appreciating the vision or the view point of the other partner. If there is lack of understanding or difference in vision in a relationship, the marriage may eventually crumble or break up. When the communication gap between the spouses is due to a chronic medical or health condition, the anguish of the impending breakup is even greater.

When partners feel that walls are developing in their relationship

There are times when some couples feel that though they are married for several years, the dynamics of their relationship has undergone big changes during the passing years. They may feel that they are blocking their partners from self-actualization. On several occasions, couples feel that it will not be possible for them to take steps together in the future and it would be better to part ways. However, that also means that they have to pay a big price to attain this freedom as it tantamount to the termination of their marriage that has sustained for so many years.

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

Things You Should Expect From a Good Family Law Judge

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsMany would agree that family law can be one of the most complicated legal affairs. The level of difficulty may go up due to excessive emotional stress that often accompanies divorce proceedings or disputes related to child custody. So, it is not an easy task to for a good family law judge.

Judges need to be in complete control in the courtroom

A family law case involves a lot of emotions. Hence, it is highly imperative that a good family law judge should be in complete charge of their courtroom do that the things get cool down. It is the responsibility of these judges to ensure that the two parties or the lawyers of both the parties should be restrained from attacking one another. There are some divorce lawyers who spend about 30 minutes covering issues, which should be covered within 5 or 10 minutes. It is exactly where the judges should step in to control the litigants and the attorneys.

Judges should ensure that the proceedings of the court start in time

In case a court is scheduled to start at eight in the morning, a judge should not be delayed in reaching the court. He or she should be punctual in reaching the court so that the hearings should begin on time. As it is, the litigants and the attorneys would be waiting impatiently for the court’s proceedings to start. However, the public should understand that several important events could be taking place in the chambers of the judge, so some times a late start is unavoidable.

Accessibility is a key feature of good judges

Problem-solving is a key personality trait of any good judge or attorney. Any good judge makes it a point to get in touch with the litigants as well as lawyers about certain issues. He or she may tell that certain facts in cases may prompt them to take certain actions in certain scenarios. Such information can be used by the attorneys for resolving certain contentious issues since they got a specific reading from the said judge. They are also able to clearly see the writing on the walls.

Decision-making capacity

There are some judges who hesitate to make a timely decision. It is a known fact that both, clients as well as their attorneys, want that they should get a proper judgment. Even if one of the parties may not agree with the ruling of a judge, it is still better to give a ruling instead if no ruling at all. A good family law judge should declare a ruling with proper reasoning to support such a decision. When a judge has given a ruling, both the parties can at least go ahead with the next phase in their lives or to the subsequent part of that case.

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

How To Move On After Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsYou may feel liberated or devastated during and after the divorce. After all, it is not an easy phase in your life. You might have put years of your soul and heart to make the relationship work. Plus, you had always thought that it will be good for both of you to grow old together and yet you find yourself lonely. Though it is tough, moving on is both empowering as well as rejuvenating for you, especially when you are determined to start afresh. Check out some of these areas where you can focus on is that there is a smooth transition through your divorce.

Prioritize those activities that took a backseat during your marriage

You could have sacrificed your career and hobbies for the sake of your marriage.  After all, the past years have been too hectic for you as you hardly had any time while looking after your family. As such, it is likely that your old passions had to be compromised. Your activities, hobbies and career have got neglected a lot. Try to bring back that old spark in your life. Divert your mind from the ugliness of the divorce proceeding by extolling yourself for cooking classes or taking up riding lessons you had always wanted to join earlier but did not have the time.

Concentrate once again on self-care

Taking care of self is a big challenge for many women. It has been taught to you ever since your childhood days that you should be always kind and selfless to others. However, on many occasions, women confuse between selflessness and neglecting themselves. They try to give a priority to everything else. It is the right time for you to prioritize your well being now. After all, if you continue to neglect yourself, your home, work or kids may get neglected when are unwell.

Focus on your social support

Getting divorced can be one of the most stressful events in your life. Since you are not going through an easy phase in your life, it is important to develop your social support to get over your current turmoil. Try to nurture your earlier relationships as well as explore fresh options for forming valuable connections and create friendships. Such an initiative can be taken through different ways.  Check out some of them.

  • Make new friends and establish connection with your old friends once again.
  • Try to be a part of various groups according to your interests like socializing, hiking gardening, wine-tasting and so on.
  • You can also contemplate joining a support group now. You will find plenty of them around you.

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

Does Infidelity Affect Spousal Support in California Divorces?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Spousal support Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsA marriage could end in divorce if one partner discovers that the other has a lover on side. The failure of marriage due to infidelity can be extremely painful for everyone involved.

Adultery and California divorce

The state of California is considered a no fault divorce state.  Divorce is possible for any one of the two possible reasons:

  • Irreconcilable differences between your spouse and you have almost destroyed the relationship and thus it cannot be changed
  • Your spouse has incurable insanity

There is no need to visit the court to testify as to why your marriage suffered and then failed. Only thing which matters in this respect is that both you and your spouse (or any one of you) must believe that it is impossible to save the marriage. Emotional healing is speeded by no-fault divorce. Courtroom processes are also speeded up as the spouses do not argue too much.

Alimony

Alimony is legally known as spousal support as per California laws. It is the money which one spouse pays to other both at the time of divorce and also after divorce. The legislature in California holds the belief that support is critical and thus a law is crafted so that spouses provide financial support to each other.

The aim of alimony is to make sure that the spouse who is poorer is not made destitute after the marriage ends.  The California court may issue the alimony order while divorce proceedings continue to be underway, but is incomplete. The spouse who will receive the alimony may request the court to give a temporary order. The last will be applicable until the issuance of final order.  The final order of alimony may take a number of forms. It may be so that the judge will conclude that there is no evidence to support an alimony award. It can be completely denied.

Adultery factor in alimony

Judges analyze multiple factors before awarding alimony. It will include the earning capacity of the spouse so that both of them can maintain certain living standards established during marriage. This will include the receiver spouse’s marketable skills and the state of job market for those skills. The judge will also taken into account the expenses and time needed to acquire sufficient education or the the training to develop certain marketable skills. The ability of the paying spouse to give alimony will also be taken into account.

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

Pros and Cons of Cohabitation Versus Marriage in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

California divorces; California Divorce MediatorsThe subject of whether marriage better or cohabitation warrants a lot of debate based on people’s personal experiences and beliefs. There are some who believe nothing can replace a marriage in a loving relationship, while others beg to differ and believe that cohabitation is equally amazing without the legality of marriage. We discuss some of the benefits and disadvantages of cohabitation over marriage.

Pros of cohabitation over marriage 

  • One of the most obvious benefits is that you get to share your home and life with someone you love and like to be around because you love the person and not because of legality binding you.
  • Cohabiting has all the financial benefits of being in a marriage without the legal hassles that come with marriage. You get to split costs, manage finances, and invest together with your partner.
  • Cohabiting can be a great way to understand if you and your partner can sustain a marriage. It is a good way to know how well you both work together as a couple living together before taking the plunge and getting married.

Cons of cohabitation over marriage 

  • There is some research that shows that marriage may have physical and psychological benefits that are lacking in cohabitation. However, some results are still ambiguous about the reasons behind these differences.
  • There is no legal responsibility or hassle, making it easier to leave a cohabitation arrangement. Marriage demands more legal commitment and, therefore, there is more thought given before a spouse decides to leave.
  • If you have kids while cohabiting, custody rights can become complicated if you decide to go your separate ways, as there is no clear legality.

Cohabitation in California 

California does not recognize common law marriage except when a couple is considered married under common law marriage in a state that recognizes it and then moves to California. California recognizes cohabitation as a legal form of relationship, and there are some provisions for couples who wish to cohabit but not marry.

If you are cohabiting to test your relationship before getting married, you can enter a prenuptial or premarital agreement that lists rules and laws applicable to you as a couple once you get married.

If you simply wish to cohabit without the legal hassles of marriage, then the state has a provision of getting a cohabitation agreement, also known as a nonmarital agreement. This formal agreement lists out responsibilities and rights for the cohabiting couple and works as a contract that is outside of marriage laws.

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

What Should Mothers Do When They Lose Custodial Fights?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsFor a parent, there is no greater loss after a divorce than losing custodial rights of their children. There are many grounds on which a court in California can award custodial rights to a father. Substance addiction, abuse and neglect are the topmost reasons and also, mothers who are not financially stable can find themselves on the losing end.

So, what should mothers do when they lose custodial battles? Completely losing custody of one’s children can have a detrimental effects on a parent’s mental health and if you’re a mother who is  concerned that they may find themselves in a similar situation and is hoping to find some advice on what their options are to proceed then taking the following steps can go a long way to helping you land on your feet.

Work to improve your circumstances and take control of your life

The best thing that you can do to restore confidence in your child and your ex is by becoming a better person. Instead of lamenting over the situation, get involved with your child’s activities. From school activities to dental appointments, take small responsibilities on your shoulder and show everyone that you, too, can change. Not only will this help boost your confidence levels, but it will also allow you to take control of your life as well.

Taking control of your child’s responsibilities will teach you to become a natural leader. It will also help you develop an important skill which you might have lacked before your divorce – decision making.

Decision making and control will allow you to improve yourself, both as a person and as a mother.

Get yourself some legal advice or hire a lawyer

If you have some idea of how the legal system works in California, you can help yourself on legal matters. It could be helpful in strengthening your case against your spouse because only you know your strengths and weaknesses. Also, during child care plans, you can point out flaws or save yourself from extra damage than is necessary.

If you don’t understand the law, hire an experienced lawyer. Educated and experienced lawyers can be the main reason for your win.

Conclusion

Losing a custodial battle is tough for mothers and it’s also tough to recover from the loss. However, if you take an interest in your child’s activities then it will help you improve yourself. Improving yourself will help you take control of your life. In any case, make sure you consult a good lawyer before and after a custodial battle.

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

Reasons Why Some Women Are Happier After They Get Divorced

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsWhen the Kingston University conducted a study for analyzing whether women had a negative effect after divorce or not, the result was quite surprising. About ten thousand people were surveyed as a part of this research and the respondents were in the age group f 16 to 60. The respondents were asked during the survey to rate how they felt before their divorce and after the divorce got finalized,

The researchers found out during the course of two decades of time period that women appeared to be more satisfied and happier in their lives after their divorces came through. Check out some of the following reasons why women could be happier after their divorce.

Women tend to seek more professional help to get over their trauma than men

It has been observed that women are more likely to approach a therapist or a counselor after their divorce to get over their emotional trauma and grief. On the other grand men tend to keep their pain more to themselves during the same phase in their lives; since they are less likely to seek professional support, it may take more time to overcome their grief and stress.

Positive support system

As compared to men, women are more likely to ensure that they have a positive support system around them during such a difficult time like their families and friends.

Different strategies for coping up with their emotional upheaval

Usually, women are known to possess unique strategies to cope up with their emotions. Women tend to look inward to seek comfort for overcoming their emotional pain. Men have a tendency to look outward. Women introspect on whether they had a role in the breakup of their marriage and they work harder to overcome their emotions and let go of their past and concentrate on their future.

Less chance of alcohol abuse

Many men tend to get addicted to alcohol during such times but women are less likely to do so.   Moreover, women are less likely to turn to casual sex and new relationships quickly for distracting them from the agony of divorce as compared to men.

Look out for new experience

Divorced women have a greater possibility to look out for new experiences post their divorce. These fresh experiences can provide them hope for a bright future and can even enrich their lives.

Powerful sense of perseverance

For many divorced women, giving up does not come easy as they have a stronger sense of perseverance as compared to divorced men. Many divorced women also do most of the childcare job as well as rake up jobs to have a better financial stability.

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

How To Befriend Your Ex-Spouse After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce isn’t always the ‘be all and end all’ of a relationship. A relationship can be defined in many different ways. A divorce ends a legal marriage. It takes a little time to get over the relationship. But you wouldn’t always want to cut contact with the person you married. Sometimes you still want to remain in touch. Your partner has been a big part of your life and you don’t want to lose that.

Staying in touch for divorced couples who have shared custody of their children is inevitable. In such circumstances, being cordial and developing a friendly relationship for the benefit of the child is vital. To help you with the process, listed below are a few tips you can employ in your relationship to ensure your transition from a spouse to a friend seamlessly.

Accept and forgive

Changing your relationship status from spouse to friend is difficult. It comes with a host of insecurities and unresolved issues. The foremost task at hand is to accept your ex for the person he/she is and forgive him/her for his/her actions. It’s important to also understand that your partner might look out for another partner or start dating. Focusing on yourself and your life is important for your personal growth and in turn your friendship with your ex.

Time to get over

Divorces can sometimes get really messy. Getting over the person you thought was your soul mate is never easy. Memories, unresolved baggage, and loneliness do tend to get to people. Take some time away from your ex. Start a new hobby or focus on work to create a distraction and give you time to analyze your situation. Seek the help of a therapist and work your way around your emotions to eventually accept the divorce and come to terms with the present arrangement of the relationship. Consult with your Orange County divorce attorney or mediator if you want to make any changes to the present arrangement that you think may help you to improve the relationship with your ex.

Reach out

If it means you taking the first step towards the intended friendship, then go for it. Reach out to your ex and acknowledge your friendship. Communicating each other’s points of view on the subject helps deal with the lost relationship and hones the friendship. Communication gives you a perspective and means to improve the friendship.

Keep in touch

It’s important to maintain the friendship by keeping in touch. It’s vital to hone this rapport if you are raising a kid with your ex. Ensure you keep a contact with your ex. Co-ordinating with your ex over activities, events like weddings or your child’s schedule help build this rapport. A cordial friendship respects the fallen romantic relationship by eradicating remorse or regret.

At the end of the day, your life is all about living it to the fullest. So why live with negativity and regret. Divorce may be the end of a marriage, but it could be the beginning of a valuable friendship.

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

Considering Your Credit Ratings When You Get Divorced

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsIf you are getting divorced, it is imperative for you to be cautious so that your credit does not get damaged during the process. Check out some of these common scenarios that you should be vigilant about.

It is becoming too much to make the car payments 

The court has declared that the family car should be awarded to the ex-wife. However, she is also supposed to take ownership of the payments. When the couple was married, it might not have been a strain to make those payments. However, now that she is shifting to a new house and has to completely rely on her own personal income, she may end up paying the EMIs late. When payments are not made on time, the credit report may get hit. 

None of the spouses paid the due on their joint credit. 

When the divorce settlement is being negotiated, both the parties usually settle and decide who will bear the responsibility of paying certain debts, For instance, the former husband is supposed to pay the debt on the joint credit card. When he fails to pay off the debt, collections may receive that account. As a result, there could be significant damage caused to the records of both the parties although the former wife is clueless about what was happening.

No credit as there was no history 

In many marriages, only one of the spouses controls finances. On many occasions, the names of both the couples may feature on the accounts. For instance, only the husband’s name appears on the sole credit card and on the mortgage and the wife has to depend on their family checking account. After a divorce is finalized, the said wife may not have any credit as she did not attempt to create her separate credit history during the marriage. It is important to note that credit history is a part of the credit score.

Ensure that credit record are protected

The spouses should realize that credit scores are an important concern during the process of divorce. It is crucial for both the parties to contemplate about personal credit history. They should address relevant concerns in their divorce decree. Here are some of the ways of doing so.

  • Separate from the joint account 

A spouse should ensure that their name no longer features in an account controlled by the ex.

  • Must have separate and own accounts 

One needs to ensure their access to credit. Both the parties should ensure that those accounts have a good history.

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