What Happens When Your Former Spouse Files For Bankruptcy?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you go through a divorce, it can be both financially as well as emotionally painful. Moreover, if your former spouse suddenly files for bankruptcy, things can be even more stressful for you as there is a possibility that your financial stability can get greatly affected.  Divorce, as well as bankruptcy, may have a great impact on your financial position in various ways based on the new circumstances of your ex-spouse. Check out some of the important things that you can consider while going through a bankruptcy and a divorce.

Cosigned or joint credit liabilities

When your former spouse files for bankruptcy, the responsibility for any debt falls on you in case you are a cosigner or a joint owner. The lender may hold you accountable as a cosigner or a joint owner to pay for a loan when your ex-spouse declares that he/ she is bankrupt and is unable to make the due payment.

Though it is unfortunate but the creditors are least concerned about the statements mentioned in your divorce agreement. So, your liability to pay the debt still exists when your former spouse fails to make the payment. A divorce payment does not remove your accountability to pay; it only indicates that you can compel someone else to do so. So you should be ready to pay the debt in case your former husband or wife is discharged from the need to pay off the loan or stops paying due to the bankruptcy. In such a scenario, you should immediately get in touch with your divorce lawyer and discuss what legal options are available for you.

Child support and alimony

Expenses for child support and alimony should be paid prior to paying the other creditors as well as taxes. However, though your alimony cannot be discharged, it does not mean that you will continue receiving the same amount before your former spouse fee pared bankruptcy.  In a majority of the States, the obligations for alimony can be revised when the ex-spouse submits his or her request to a bankruptcy court. It is up to the bankruptcy court to decide a revised amount for the alimony or enter into a new agreement with you after the petition filed by your former spouse.

But there are a few rare situations when alimony may be also discharged. Thus, in order to be on the safer side, it is better to consult your divorce attorney to make sure that your support payments or alimony remain protected.

Impact on your credit report

Though your ex-spouse filed for bankruptcy, your credit score may not get affected directly. The reason for this so your credit score is considered to be distinct and separate from your former spouse.

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

Common Co-Parenting Issues after Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIf parents are able to co-parent in a civil manner, children can be relaxed and normal even after their parent’s divorce. Though you may love your kids the most, there could be certain scenarios where it is tough to give a preference to their best interests over the fury and disillusionment you feel towards your former spouse or over the divorce. Your children will be able to cope up well with your divorce when you and your former husband or wife can co-parent in a matured manner after the divorce has been finalized. There is a tendency in many married couples to follow the lead of each other as far as the matter of parenting is concerned. While your marriage may have come to an end and your former spouse may not be important to you anymore, you may still have to parent together for the best interests of your children. Check out some of the common co-parenting issues that may divorce couple face before them:

You are worried about your kid when he or she is in the custody of the other parent

If your ex-husband or wife does not have a background of abusing the kids or you, you should not feel scared or apprehensive about what is happening when the children are in their custody There are moms who demand a detailed schedule of each and every move that will be made by their child when they are in their father’s custody.

Both of you have distinct parenting styles

A father can be laid back while it is an issue of parenting at times. When the children are at his place, kids are not taking a bath every day, going to bed late and are not doing their homework regularly. Moreover, they are having junk food almost every other day. On the other hand, at times the mom is too strict with the daily routines and kids are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the discipline. It could be possible that both the mother and the father are adamant that their parenting style is better than their partner.

Your former spouse use your kids to hurt you

The kids should not be used as pawns by one parent against the other. Though it may sound surprising, it can happen on several occasions. When you realize that your children want to spend more time with the father but you refuse to let them do so, you are not thinking about your kids but want to hurt the father by resisting to your children’s desires.

To learn more about the Orange County 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

Can An Orange County Divorce Destroy Your Retirement?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce, it is likely that you may not think too much about how it can have an impact on your retirement. However, it is an extremely valid matter to think about. Insured Retirement Institute conducted a study which observed that about 24 percent of the divorced couples who are born after World War II felt their condition will deteriorate after retirement because of the divorce. About 23 percent of the respondents mentioned that they must work for longer years to combat the hardship. Thus, it signifies that you need to take certain measures for protecting your retirement plans. Additionally, it is better to do so as quickly as possible. After all, the financial impact of a divorce can actually last for many decades. Check out some ways to ensure that your retirement dreams are on a proper track irrespective of your divorce.

Retirement and divorce

Although your divorce could be taking place many decades before your retirement date, it is likely that your retirement savings may be badly affected. First of all, a divorce would typically mean that your retirement funds could be split between your former spouse and you. As a result, you may find a substantial reduction in your retirement savings. Secondly, a divorce also signifies that soon it will be a single income household albeit temporarily. Thus, it is possible what you would be able to save quite less for your post-retirement years as compared to what you had initially anticipated or planned.

Divorce and your retirement savings

Local as well as state laws ascertain the manner in which your retirement savings will be split between your former spouse and you. In case you are residing in one of the community property states, any assets acquired by your spouse or you during the course of your marriage are regarded as joint property irrespective of who saved the money. California is also an example of a community property state along with other States like Washington, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Mexico.

The most certain technique to ensure that your retirement savings are protected is to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which specifies which party will get the exact percentage of the saving in the accounts in the event of a marriage breakup. In case, you have not set up a prenup, you should negotiate with your former spouse and come up with an agreement that will benefit you both. You can hire one of the reputable Orange County divorce mediators at California Divorce Mediators to help you in the process.

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

4 Different Ways of Getting an Orange County Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAre you planning to get divorced but do not know how to initiate the process? There is a common misconception that a divorce process is always a lengthy and complicated one, which may not be necessarily true. Here are some of the ways to get a divorce in Orange County, California.

DIY divorce

It is possible that both you and your husband/wife have sorted out all the parenting, tax and financial issues already. So, you have time at your disposal to go through those detailed guidelines, draft and file documents in the court. A majority of the bar associations or states sell handbooks that are handy for filing the paperwork or a do-it-yourself divorce. Alternatively, one can also browse through the website of a state on uncontested divorces to get a hang of the things. Usually, it takes about two weeks to complete the documentation and procures notarized signatures. However, you need to wait for the court’s final divorce decree that may take anywhere between a fortnight to about six months based on the time taken by your court.

Mediated divorce

It is highly possible that both you and your partner failed to resolve the parenting, financial and tax-related issues.  However, if both of you can still be together in one too then a mediator with a neutral approach can guide both of you on the issues that could eventually sort out your differences. The basic aim of a neutral mediation is to assist you and your spouse to arrive at a settlement without the court’s intervention. It is not necessary that a mediator has to be an attorney.  However, if the mediator is one, the person can get all the legal documents ready and then file them in the court on your behalf. While mediation is a voluntary act, it becomes binding after an agreement is signed. The speed of a mediated divorce is reasonably fast and can be usually arrived within three months.

On-line DIY divorce

It is quite similar to a DIY divorce but the difference is that you need not procure blank court papers. Rather, the online program will ask you certain questions and you need to key in your responses. Thus the software program does the paperwork on your behalf. You just need to take a printout of the final documents and notarize them before filing in the court. It takes less time than a DIY divorce as the paperwork is simplified due to the online program.

Litigated divorce

Both the parties should hire their respective attorneys who will represent them while the divorce proceedings are on.  It can be a time-consuming procedure.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how 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

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

3 Mistakes to Avoid While Dating After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAre you planning to forget your past after your divorce and start dating? However, it may not be that easy to do so especially if you had been married for several years to your former spouse. Sometimes, it could be as complicated as finding your way in a market while there is a blindfold on your eyes. When you get divorced from your partner, you could feel extremely lonely after sharing your house and life with someone for so many years. It is natural to seek companionship and feel wanted in such crucial times. But this also makes people more vulnerable and many of them tend to make certain mistakes when they start dating. Eventually, that results in more self-doubt, loneliness and another sour relationship. Many people commit these mistakes that also affect their health and they fail to find lasting love in their lives, love, and attachment when your new partner is crazily attracted to you. Here are some of those common mistakes that you might make while dating after your marriage.

Getting too attached 

It is not possible to judge how the person is on your very second or third date. Stop ignoring the flaws of that person just because you feel a deep need within yourself to get attached to a new person too soon. When you feel that there are certain key challenges in your new relationship, it makes sense not to make excuses only because you are scared of being alone. The love and devotion you feel should not be showered too easily, the new person should try to earn them and that definitely cannot happen overnight.

Not focusing on what you need NOW

Many people make the mistake of striving for instant gratification. They overlook the importance of the long-term advantages of dating a new person and tend to go for instant gratification of their current relationship needs. Moreover, if they find that those needs are not being fulfilled, they try out the same with someone else as a quick fix. When you are madly looking for a new love and want to find a perfect partner the second time around, you can get into serial dating if not careful and eventually might end up being with a wrong person in your life.

Becoming docile and submissive

When you start saying again after your divorce, make sure that you do not give away your power. This may happen when you give a higher priority to the desires and needs of the person you are dating above your own.  When you have a strong urge to fall in love once more, chances of becoming passive is not uncommon, particularly when you meet someone who you start liking.

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

4 Tips for Protecting Your Money during Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsOne of the most important things to focus on during your divorce should be how you can protect your money. Money is one such issue that one should start preparing and protecting long before filing a divorce. Do you suspect that your spouse could be hiding money? When you feel that your divorce will be full of conflicts and not a harmonious one, it makes sense to take certain precautionary measures with respect to your financial matters prior to filing for your divorce.

If you are a stay-at-home mother, whatever money your partner earns to run the family is “your money”. So, even if you end up getting divorced, you should not feel that just because you do not give your own income it means that you do not have any bucks to protect. After all, your kids and you should feel financially secure until the time you can start working. Now, this also means that you do not have any issues with respect to protecting the portion of your husband’s income that is required for you to be financially stable after your divorce is finalized. Check out some of these easy tips for protecting your money during your divorce.

Immediately close all such joint credit accounts that you hold with your spouse

You need to put an end to all the joint credit accounts that are held by your spouse and you together r pay them off. For instance, a home mortgage will come under this category and should either be paid off quickly if possible. Alternatively, it should be put only in the name of your spouse. In case you are unable to settle the payment of such credit accounts, get in touch with your creditors and try to figure out the steps that should be taken so that your name gets removed from these accounts.

Open a new personal account in your name

It is possible that you did not have a bank account in your individual name before. Now is the time for you to open a new savings as well as a checking account. Once you open it, do keep your spouse informed about it and let them know the amount of money that you plan to deposit in your account. Your spouse should know about these accounts so that there would be no allegations of trying to hide funds. When you separate from your spouse and file for the divorce, you will require money to meet the fees of your attorney, court fees as well as a new house to live.

Do not incur fresh debts

Your priority should be to save the maximum amount of money prior to filing for a divorce. When you run charges on your credit card, you are not saving money but accumulating new debts.

Protect your precious items

When your spouse has been abusing you for some time now, or you have a gut feeling that he or she will hide or destroy expensive possessions, you should hide them. However, you should note that if there is any valuable that were bought with the marital funds, it needs to be valued and then divided during your divorce process.

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

What NOT To Do During Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIt makes a great deal of sense to do the right things while your divorce is going on. But what about those things that you are not supposed to do during your divorce? There are many divorce lawyers who claim that they have come across divorcing clients who tend to concentrate more on what should be done and overlook all such things that they should not do, which are equally important.

Stop behaving badly

Just because you are undergoing a divorce does not mean that you have to be rude and behave badly with your estranged spouse. Do not indulge in any such acts prior to, during the divorce and after your divorce comes through, which will have a bad reflection on you.

You should not dismiss the needs of your ex

While you may not want to stay married to your wife or husband anymore, it does not necessarily signify that you should overlook their requirements. After all, you are not the only party in your divorce. The basic legal idea beyond any divorce is to get a marriage dissolved and not making your husband/wife destitute. So when you consider their needs and be fair, it will have a positive impact on your divorce process so that it does not turn into a bitter war.

Try not to be rigid

When you negotiate your divorce settlement or determine crucial issues such as child custody, you should not be unwilling to compromise. People opt for a divorce knowing full well that they require. But everyone cannot get all they had desired for. When you are inflexible while negotiations are going on, there is a possibility that you end up getting much less than what could have been otherwise negotiated. For instance, though the guidelines lay down by the state determines matters related to child support, it does not necessarily signify that a judge will raise an objection to an agreement signed by both you and former spouse. The way your settlement gets handled will be ascertained by the degree of flexibility shown by you and your former partner and the issues applicable in your specific case.

Do not be extravagant

Your divorce can be a costly affair. So you need to have a proper financial plan and begin saving for your future. The money you tend to spend unnecessarily every month should be put away in your bank account. In case your divorce turns out to be a long legal process, this money can then be used to meet the expenses. Once you have filed for the divorced, avoid going out on costly shopping sprees and spend your marital assets. When you start spending recklessly, the orders of the judge could make you return those assets.

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