How Long Before You Can Receive Spousal Support In A California Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County spousal support; California Divorce MediatorsThis is a point that concerns many couples who are facing divorce proceedings in the State of California. The answer to how long you must wait for spousal support depends on understanding the distinction between temporary and permanent spousal support orders.

Extending the divorce petition

The divorce process in California starts with the serving of the petition. The spousal support request can be filed at the same time as the petition. The court generally issues a hearing date between 30 to 90 days of presenting the request. In some of the California counties, the parties presenting the petition can reserve a date in advance. In the rest of the counties, the clerk assigns a date that is available. The wait time until the requesting parties receive the hearing date depends on the family law judge, to whom the case is assigned. If the judge is busy, it might take longer than usual.

Once a hearing date is assigned and is served, the other spouse files and serves a declaration and finally the matter proceeds to the hearing. Spouses have the option of settling the spousal support matters before the hearing and also at the hearing.

Spousal support on temporary basis

This kind of support means the support that is extend by the spouse while the divorce proceedings are on and before it comes to an end. The spousal support request can be presented in the form of request to order, as mentioned earlier in the article. It is a pretty straightforward process and can be carried out along with the divorce proceedings.

Spousal support by judgment (permanent support)

Spousal support by judgment is not as straightforward as the support on temporary basis. It generally is a result of:

  • A settlement
  • A divorce trial

The settlement usually results in a stipulated judgment. If the support is contested and is moved to trial then the judge decides on the amount and the duration for which the spousal support is to be extended. The time taken to reach this judgment depends on:

  • The duration of marriage
  • Disputes regarding the finances of the spouse, or cases such as unemployment of spouse in which case it has to be decided if the other spouse should have their income attributed to the unemployed spouse
  • The standard of living of the couple, during the duration of their marriage
  • Other issues that can cause the divorce to take longer to wind up

In case of fewer disputes or no disputes at all, divorce proceedings can be concluded in less than six months. Otherwise, it may even take more than a year.

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

Can Separation Save Your Marriage In The Long Run?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen there can be boredom and complacency in a marriage, they may lead to emotions like lack of appreciation and resentment among some couples. If a couple is married for many years, they usually understand each other better. However, being married for long does not necessarily guarantee that it is bound to be a fulfilled marriage. A marriage may survive or get destroyed after a separation based on some of the factors mentioned below:

  • Duration of separation
  • Reasons for legal separation
  • Level of commitment demonstrated by both the parties for saving their marriage
  • Capability of coping up with the absence of one’s spouse

Ways in which a separation may be helpful

It is possible to save a marriage through a temporary separation only when both the spouses are committed in continuing with their union. Are the couples communicating with one another freely or are they guarded? Do they attend all the counseling or therapy sessions religiously? Do they still miss one another when they do not meet one another for whatever reasons? Do they still share camaraderie in each other’s company? Answers to all these questions indicate the value of the separation in a marriage.

When a separation continues beyond a time period of six months, there are a lot of possibilities that it may end up in a divorce. The exception is when there are some contentious matters, which may require more time to resolve. When a separation stretches for a longer duration, the couple may become more comfortable in their own lives. There are new events like new friends, activities, and commitments leading to a greater complacency in cementing the couple’s relationship. It is the ideal time to go on a self-discovery mode since an individual now has plenty of time to aggregate efforts of reconciliation.

While a separation can give you much-needed personal space and time for contemplation, it is important to renew efforts to bridge the gap as soon as possible between you and your spouse.

Merits of a legal separation in salvaging a marriage

  • Spouses get the necessary time and space to understand the obligations and efforts in their institution of marriage.
  • Gives an atmosphere and opportunity to find out new and unexplored aspects of their married life enabling the couples to embark on a new beginning in their relationship or marriage.

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

Is It Wise To Date Someone Else During Your Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsHave you met someone and wanted to date him or her while you are still getting divorced? If your divorce proceeding is still going on, be cautious about dating. You may feel that it is time for you to enter into a new relationship after proceeding with a divorce or a separation. But it is a sensible decision to be out of the dating scene until the time your divorce comes through for a host of emotional, legal and strategic reasons.

Strategic reasons for not dating prior to divorce

A divorcing couple is quite likely to be not in the best of terms while a divorce is going on. So if you begin to date someone rose, it can aggravate your relationship with the estranged partner even more. Plus, the other spouse can make your life a hell while your divorce proceeding is going on and make resolution of the case more difficult. He or she may even try to take revenge against you.

Although your husband might have had several affairs while you were married, he may not like the fact that you are seeing someone else at this crucial juncture. He is likely to feel that you have wronged him and may try seeking justice through whatever means he can. It is also possible that he might try to get even with you by trying to split the marital property or get the custody of your kids. In case you have kids from the marriage, you should have an amicable relationship with your spouse in the best interest of your kids,

It is likely that you need to have a continuous contact with your spouse even after the divorce comes through due to having children together. If you date during your divorce, it can hamper the spirit of cordiality and cooperation and can even have a negative impact on your life for months to come 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

Top Financial Challenges Faced By Divorced Mothers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you know the challenges that lie before you as a single mom, it becomes easier to prepare an appropriate action plan so that you can take care of the kids in the best possible manner in your next stage of life. Here are some of the top financial challenges moms face after a divorce gets finalized. 

Ways of paying the bills

One of the top financial concerns for the newly single moms is paying the monthly mortgage or bills. It can be an overwhelming and daunting affair to take care of the household utilities. However, do not despair and give up hopes. You can get through the trying time through many ways. For instance, you can sell off your house and move in with your close friends or family members during this trying time so reduce the financial burden. Alternatively, you can also contemplate refinancing your house to procure a lower rate. 

Providing necessities for the family

It is quite likely that your household income could have been slashed considerably after your divorce. You could be a homemaker while being married. There are other financial concerns after your divorce too such as clothing and school supplies. After all, these can be expensive too. A serious concern for you as a divorced mother is to look out for ways of providing for the entire family. 

Getting the required money to pay for childcare

If you are a newly divorced single mom, you may have a series of financial obligations that may compel you to join work once again or opt for double jobs simultaneously to meet ends. In fact, it can be a big blow as you, not only feel tired and anxious but cannot spend much time with your kids.

When you work full-time, you also need to look out for a reputable childcare facility to take care of your little ones when you are at office. You can take the help of your friends and family members to seek care for the kids when you are away from home until the time you start enjoying financial stability once again. 

Finding a suitable place to live

It is a sad truth that 20 percent of the divorced women fall below the poverty line after their marriages end. Now, that is hardly an encouraging statistic for divorced and single moms who want to offer the finest housing facility and schooling situation to their kids. A serious financial concern after your divorce is where you will live. In case you are incapable of staying in your original house, you should not feel disappointed, you can get help from various assistance programs for housing designed specifically for single moms and families with low incomes, which can come handy during this difficult time.

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

Issues To Consider In Contemplating Divorce While Pregnant

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

California Family Law Attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIt is needed tragic to go for a divorce irrespective of what the conditions have been in a marriage. It can be even more stressful when you find out that you are expecting a baby or your spouse is pregnant for a host of reasons.

However, if you have been party to a high-conflict or stressful marriage even when you found out for the first time that you are pregnant, it is quite natural to understand why the news can bring in plenty of anxiety and pressure even though you think your baby is a boon for you. The reason for this is kids need a lot of energy, time, affection and love.

Kids are happier in two-parent houses

It is a topic that has been the subject of innumerable debates for many decades. But there are plenty of figures and statistics to suggest that children are happier and more contented in a two-parent home as compared to growing up in a single-parent home. On several occasions it has been noticed that kids of a broken family have a greater chance to experience poverty, have to cope up with more emotional issues and are offspring’s of a teen and single parent. Statistics also hints that a single mother may experience a higher level of mental and physical illnesses and addictions. Thus an important reason why you should rethink divorce while being pregnant is kids do well in a two-parent house.

It is better to avoid making important decisions while you are overwhelmed

When you are expecting a baby, your hormones keep changing. Your emotions can go for a roller coaster ride due to this reason. On the other hand, if it is your partner who is expecting a baby, you need to adjust to their frequent mood swings due to constant hormonal shifts. Your relationship with your spouse can undergo a lot of stress due to these reasons. But that is precisely the reason why you should not consider divorce then. Though there could have been problems and conflicts in your marriage before you were pregnant, it is better to think about it after the baby has arrived since you can make wiser decisions than with a sense of normalcy returning to you.

It can be a trying experience to be pregnant all alone

When a little baby is growing up inside you, it can take a big toll on you both mentally and physically. You need to have someone beside you in your home constantly to make you feel emotionally secure.

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

Practical Tips On How To Separate From Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsGoing through a legal separation can be an emotionally taxing time for both the partners. Often a spouse may feel unsure about whether they can save their marriage or not. More importantly, a big doubt is whether your spouse will be interested to save your marriage or not. There are several practical considerations the affected couple should also take care of. It makes sense to deal with the separation’s practical side as quickly as possible so that they can get more emotional and mental space for processing your needs and feelings.

There are several cases where irrespective of how much a couple tries, their marriage appears to be doomed. It is possible that a couple has already tried to talk it out. They could have even visited a professional therapist or have gone for individual counseling. It is possible at times that a couple has reached that stage in their life where they opt for a legal separation as the final attempt to check out whether their marriage can be restored or not prior to taking the final call to end it.

When you follow these practical tips to separate from your husband or wife, your road ahead can ultimately be smoother.

Think about your properties 

When a couple is married, they could own plenty of shared assets. A pertinent question in this juncture is what should now happen to all the shared possessions.

You can begin the process of splitting with big items like a car that could be jointly owned by both of you and furniture. It is important to know which spouse will be keeping what and is entitled to what.

Make sure your finances are in proper order

Finances can be entangled when you are married. In case you have got a joint mortgage, lease, and a joint account in the bank and shared assets like investments, there should be a proper plan on what to do in the beginning of your legal separation. To begin with you should have your individual bank account. Make sure that your monthly salary check gets deposited in your personal saving account. It is important to check that you do not end up paying obnoxiously high shared bills. Your finances should be put in order prior to separating.

Think about where you will stay

Several couples experience that living together under the same roof while legally separated is not practical at all. After all, the main aim of a legal separation is to stay apart from your spouse for some time and see how your relationship works out at the end of the separation period. It is tough to accomplish this aim if both of you stay in the same house during your separation. Hence, it is important to think about where you will stay during the separation period.

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

How Is Alimony Calculated In California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIn California, the term alimony is referred to as “spousal support.” A court in California may order the higher earner between the couple irrespective of the gender to pay the other party so that the latter can maintain the same lifestyle for a specific time period when they want to end the marriage permanently. However, the law in the state of California also prescribe the a court needs to review several factors to determine and award permanent spousal support to the lower earning spouse. The court enjoys the final discretion to settle alimony matters. An Orange County divorce lawyer can play a crucial role to furnish evidence of all those factors that come under review.

Duration of alimony in California

How long a spouse will be awarded with a spousal support is frequently linked to the duration for which the parties were married. When a couple has been married for less than a decade (10 years), a judge will typically not award spousal support for more than 50 percent of the marriage length. On the other hand, when the parties have been married for a minimum of ten years or more, the court may not dictate a specific date of termination for spousal support when the couple gets married. However, both the parties have the liberty to request for changes time and again till the time they specifically give a nod to the date of termination or when the judge explicitly terminates the alimony at a hearing later on.

Spousal support calculation in California

According to the law of California. the aim of awarding spousal support temporarily is to maintain the financial status quo as much as possible, It is at the discretion of a court to direct temporary alimony after reviewing the requirements of the party requesting the same as well as the ability of the other spouse to pay.

If there are dependent kids in a marriage, the parents can get an estimate of what the amount for temporary alimony may look like apart from the payments for child support. These are done according to stringent guidelines and by using the child support calculator available at the state’s department of child support.

The key aim of spousal support after the divorce gets finalized is to offer help to the supported spouse so that they can maintain a living standard almost same as the one they had while being married. A court in California will assess the degree to which the earning capacity of each spouse is adequate to continue the same marital living standard. While doing so, the court may consider the following factors:

  1. The degree to which the future or present earning ability of the supported spouse has got impaired due to their domestic responsibilities
  2. Any expenses or time needed by the supported spouse to get training or education to get a job or improve the chance of employability
  3. The kind of marketable skills needed by the supported spouse
  4. Potential job marketability for such skills

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

What To Think About When Reconciling After Legal Separation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsOn certain occasions, some couples do regroup and reconcile after their legal separation. Contrary to what many people would like to believe, survival from a separation is not an accidental case. But spouses who do succeed in overcoming their discord after a separation are known to exhibit certain behaviors to make sure that their marriages are intact.

What should you do to get back together after your legal separation? 

The couples must ensure that there is complete transparency in their relationship if they are really serious about reconciliation after their temporary break-up. When there is erosion in the trust factor, transparency can act as a balm. Try to be open about the finances, schedules and personal habits so that some that lost trust factor can be replaced by your relationship. You should also note that coaching is a great idea. When you have professional experts or a good support system in your life that can help you out with your emotions, you can benefit to a great extent. It is also imperative for you to be completely honest with yourself by asking certain tough questions. So think carefully about the answers for the following questions prior to reconciliation:

  • Was it your partner who had ended the relationship of did you do it? Did both of you get an opportunity to have a heart to heart discussion on what could have gone wrong in your marriage during your legal separation? In case the answer is in negative, it is high time that you engage in an honest and open dialogue with one another.
  • Did you know the events in your partner’s life while both of you were separated?
  • Has there been a change in you or your partner’s nature since the end of your relationship? In case the reply is in affirmative, what and how did that change take place? Did such changes bring both of you closer or widened the gap?
  • Can your relationship get affected through certain other crucial factors in case both of you decide to get back together in the future?

You should generally give a chance for reconciliation

When there is a space between you and your partner albeit temporarily in the form of a separation, it shows you what is important and what should not matter to both of you. When you are focused on giving a second chance to your marriage and your partner is also on the same page, you should give a sincere chance to reconciliation.

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

What To Know About California Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsChild support is money which any court orders both parents or any one parent to pay to assist in paying for child (or children) support and the latter’s living expenses. The amount must be paid every month. Every California county has a family law facilitator to assist you for such activities. These services can be had for free. The facilitator helps in a number of ways like preparing the forms and explaining the procedures of the court for obtaining and changing the child support orders. The person concerned will also help in calculating total child support using guidelines and explain how the court arrives at the child support decisions.

Parent guide

A child support agency is present in every California county to assist you when it comes to getting, collecting and changing child support activities.  Courts in California must order the child support amount as determined by child support guideline. The only exception is that if a particular case fits one of few legal exceptions linked to the rule. One exception is that parties consent to an amount which is different from guidelines related to child support. The solution, however, must meet certain tests.

Non-guideline support

Most parents can consent to “non-guideline” support of both know fully their rights to support the child. They should also know the guideline support amount of the child. Parents must not be forced or pressured to give consent to the child support amount. This is applicable if parents do not receive public assistance or have not made any application for any public assistance. They have also consented to monetary support to meet the needs of the children.

The parents can agree to any child support order based on this guideline. The couple, by signing on a particular written agreement for guideline amount, have no need to visit a judge so that the latter can make a decision on child support. The agreement musty be submitted to court clerk for the judge to sign. Only after signing that it could be enforced as a court order.

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