Understanding Domestic Violence Under California Law

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Domestic violence Orange CountyDisagreements are not something unusual in one’s life. After all, it is not possible to agree with someone every time. And yet, when someone constantly feels unsafe or has to continuously live in a state of fear, domestic violence could be a major contributor. Any emotional, mental or physical behavior or act, which can have a negative impact on people living in the house or family members to an extent where they feel afraid, furious or nervous can be regard as an act of domestic violence.

Codes in California defining domestic violence

However, the definition of domestic violence may not be same in all states. Yet, the state of California is somewhat progressive with respect to the treatment of domestic violence incidents. It is also more sensitive with respect to how the court and the police system are directed to handle such cases and the kind of treatments victims of such incidents should get. The law of California has defined an act of domestic violence as an abusive treatment against a minor or an adult who could be a cohabitant, ex-cohabitant, former spouse or spouse. a kid from the individual or a person with whom a victim dated or has been dating according to Penal Code 13700.

California has also defined domestic violence as per the Family Code 6211. Its definition is wider as compared to the penal code. The code makes distinctions between non-criminal and criminal situations of domestic violence.

The domestic violence laws in California attempts to put an end to violence in intimate or familial relationships. It identifies acts of domestic violence if a person commits any type of criminal act within the purview of any relationship defined by the state’s Penal Code as mentioned above. Domestic violence cases are often synonymous with child abuse or abuse of spouses.

If a prosecutor brings a charge of domestic violence against the defendant, multiple sections of the California Penal Code can apply. It is the discretion of a prosecutor to select the kind of criminal charges to follow on the basis of how severe the conduct is and the degree of harm caused to the victim.

Restraining Orders

State laws of California enable domestic violence victims to file for restraining orders and emergency protective orders in criminal as well as civil courts. Issuing a restraining or a protective order does not essentially signify on how much harm is caused to the victim physically. An individual who has gone through acts of emotional abuse or is apprehensive of imminent harm is also eligible for being protected under the legal system of California. For more clarification on California domestic violence, you should contact an Orange County divorce attorney.

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

Tips to Keep Your Divorce Expenses Down

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAlthough you could be the one you initiated your divorce process, it may still take a toll on you. It is quite a costly process and there is hardly anyone who emerges as a winner in a divorce? Costs can get multiplied when a single household splits into two. But rational and logical thoughts, proper planning and education may be helpful in lowering the financial impact. Check out the following suggestions that can come handy for keeping your costs in check during the divorce.

Try to stay out of a court as far as possible

A litigated divorce can be quite an expensive affair. In fact, it may even deplete the marital assets of a couple who are about to end their marriage. Collaborative or mediation divorce can save both money and time and also help in completing the procedure in a proper manner. When these approaches are adopted, it is easy to agree on common grounds so that a mutually satisfactory agreement between the couple can be reached. When both the parties are flexible and can come out with solutions to sort out their issues, there could be a cooperative association between the former spouses in the future. Hence the parties can proceed with fewer possibilities of conflict and stress, particularly when kids are involved in a marriage.

You can secure professional help to get a feel of your financial situation

Splitting natural properties and financial issues can be extremely time consuming and complicated aspects while a couple gets divorced. Expenses can shoot up drastically as a consequence. It is recommended to hire an experienced attorney as they have the necessary expertise and experience on similar legal matters. The only point you need to take care us about hiring an attorney with specialized knowledge of handling with complex financial matters.

Increase communication and reduce conflicts

You need to realize that when you fight more, your divorce proceeding could get more complicated, It in turn will make the overall process more expensive. Make sure that the attorney hired by your spouse or your attorney does not try to encourage conflict between the two of you. You need to think rationally so that you can continue to communicate freely with your estranged spouse. When you adopt a flexible approach and are ready to negotiate, you can actually save thousands of bucks. There is hardly any merit to try taking revenge on your former spouse or extract vengeance for their supposed bad behavior. The culmination of the distribution of your marital property should be accomplished in a manner that is equitable and just for both the parties involved.

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

Tips for Men to Cope After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsThere are some men who take a deep sigh of relief once their divorce comes through. However, for most men, it can be a shattering experience, which can impact their lives in a negative way. There is no doubt that divorce is not a child’s play. Plus the effects of divorce on men should not be taken light-heartedly. In fact, there are some men who start living a life of pain and suffering after separating from their wives. In case you are one of them, here are some top tips that can help you in coping with your divorce.

Stay away from drugs and alcohol since they are not the right way to handle your divorce 

Many men commit this dumb mistake post divorce. In fact, they feel that drugs and drinking can help them to forget all about their past and enable them to come out of this crisis. However, abuse of drugs and alcohol is one of the big mistakes men can think of after their divorce is finalized.

Divorced men should avoid further conflict and stress with former spouses 

You and your estranged spouse can have different viewpoints and opinions. However, when both of you tend to engage in conflicting situations, it can be counter-productive for both of you. Such emotional banters and bickering can be obstacles to move on with your life and bring more anger and misery.

Start altering your life as soon as possible 

Once your divorce comes through, it is time to make a self-commitment to start altering your life. You can take small steps for accomplishing this by taking good care of your soul, mind and physical well being. To begin with your body should be more active so that there is positivity and energy in you. Secondly, you should try to cleanse your mind from self-destructive and negative emotions. Finally, you need to do some serious soul searching too.

Check out some activities that you may consider:

  • Go to a good hair salon and get a stylish haircut. You are beginning a new life and it can be a good start.
  • Try to have regular and healthy diet. Such a practice will make your body healthy.
  • Concentrate on your job instead of quitting. While your divorce could be a devastating chapter in your life, you should not let your career suffer because of that. Additionally, you will need more money after your divorce.
  • You should shave and shower regularly. Do not forget to use nice smelling cologne before going out to make you feel good. After all, you are a new individual post divorce and should look good to get on with your life.

Be in touch with your close friends

Your friends’ support is very precious at this juncture of your life. Call them up and request them to come over to your place.

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

Tips On How To Move On After Infidelity

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsA spouse may go through great mental by social agony when they find about the illicit relationship of their partner. In fact, they may constantly think about it till their heads stagger. However, these people need to understand that most of the times their spouses may not depend that kind of energy and they just do not care.  It is better not to dwell too much into their acts of infidelity.

Try to come to terms with your emotions

Although every case is a unique one, you can definitely do certain things to reduce your pain. Your roller coaster ride of emotions suddenly begins once you get to know about your spouse’s betrayal. It is natural for you to go through several emotions like fear, a sense of deep loss, great fury and disillusionment. You should try to realize that going crazy will not be of any use. After all, there are many other people who have gone through the same kind of confusion and mental agony but have managed to survive. So, you should never forget that you are not the only person to suffer. Follow these easy tips to help you move on in life after you face betrayal from your spouse.

It is important for you to channelize your frustration and anger

You need to take the help of a good therapist or coach who has specialization in divorce related cases. They will listen to you describing the incident f your spouse cheating on you and then guide you to move ahead in life. A good therapist will also help you to make sure that you get the right perspective and make you realize that you still have an opportunity to lead a happy life and you are not to be blamed for the faults of your spouses. They are adults and made their own decisions. You should never own their decisions and feel bad about it.

Keep yourself thoroughly engaged with messages all through the day so that you feel better

When you indulge in self-pity and try to stay as a recluse, it is impossible to start a new life and stay positive. While no one is arguing that self-pity is normal in the beginning, you should let yourself be angry and hurt only for some time. However, you need to soon make a conscious effort to pick yourself up, and get in touch with your counselor or therapist. It is the ripe time to promise yourself to start a new journey in your life.

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

Mediation Tips for Same-Sex Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Gay marriage and domestic partnership attorneys in Los Angeles Orange County California; California Divorce AttorneysMediators have increasingly become important in divorces and often play a vital role in determining the outcome of divorce. In some cases, mediators are successful at stopping a bad divorce from taking place.

As a mediator, you need to keep certain points in mind before you can proceed with a mediation for same-sex couples.

Keep things in perspective

It is a serious matter but don’t make it so serious that the couple feel that a divorce is the end of the road for them.  Keep things in perspective.  Allow them to focus on important issues and be calm about it.

Try to save the marriage first

Most of the time, you will try to sort out the differences between the two individuals. However, in case of same-sex couples, try to save the marriage if there is a possibility to do so. Tell your clients the pros and cons of getting a divorce and help them decide the best course of action.

Be sensitive about what you say

How you talk with heterosexual clients may not work for same-sex couples. Try understanding their psyche and look at things from their point of view.

Conclusion

Same-sex marriages like heterosexual marriages are prone to divorces too. It is difficult for same-sex couples to split because finding a partner is not easy for them. Once they find someone who they are comfortable with, they try staying with the same person for the rest of their life. However, problems can arise anytime and sometime they lead to divorce. Divorce mediation for such individual is a bit different than regular mediation process. The sensitivity meter is higher and mediators should know what they are talking about. Also, same-sex couples prefer options for saving their marriage rather than learning about the best way to do a divorce.

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

Behind the veil of how California family law courts function

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in California; California Divorce Mediators;Forget all renditions of courtroom dramas as seen on television or in the movies, the real courtroom where everyday cases are heard by judges runs very differently. Devoid of all glamour and romance, family court is not what you would expect, if going by what you’ve seen on TV.

Here’s a more appropriate view of what to expect if you do find yourself in a California Family Law Court.

Tight Security Checks

Like all Government institutions, court houses are firm on security checks. Before entering you will be subjected to a thorough screening. Beginning with a walk through metal detector screener, keep a check of all metal items you might be carrying on your person. You will need to keep all metal aside, including objects like belts, keys, phone, pocket change etc.

Arrive well before your scheduled appointment and leave unnecessary objects in your car, before entering if you’re running late. It might take you a while before you clear security and can then carry on to find the room in which your case will he heard.

Public Hearings

You might be surprised to learn that your case won’t be the only one on the docket that day. Prepare yourself for a whole bunch of strangers listening in on your case. Additionally, it might take some time before the judge calls on your case to be heard, following the progression of cases before yours.

Public hearings have positives too, you can ask friends or family to join you in the audience. Keep in mind to ask only those family and friends who are an important part of your support system.

Look for Signs

Every morning, each courtroom will provide a list of cases they are to hear that day on a sign outside their doors. Read all lists to check if your case is listed to be heard in that particular room. When inside the room, look for which side you should be sitting on either the respondent or petitioner’s side, this makes things easier when your case is called to be heard.

Additionally make it a point to adhere to courtroom decorum and follow required etiquette, also listed on signs in the room.

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

Circumstances When Virtual Divorce Mediation Makes Sense

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Virtual divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsAs technology keeps expanding its base, more and more avenues open up where technology plays a crucial role. For communication purposes, technology has become absolutely necessary. One of the new areas where technology has made its presence felt is divorce mediation. Divorces have become a common affair in the U.S. as more and more couples head for a divorce instead of staying in a bad marriage. Therefore, the job of a divorce mediator has become increasingly important and mediators are now looking for newer ways to connect with clients.

Virtual divorce mediation is mediation done through an electronic mode. It mainly takes place through video chat and other visual communication tools where clients and mediators interact with each other.

How it differs from regular mediation process

In a regular mediation process, the mediator sits with both parents and decides how the marriage can be saved or if it cannot be saved then how the divorce should take place. Over the last few years, mediation has become an important factor in divorce and many couples have even saved their marriage from unnecessary damage. A virtual divorce is the same except here, the clients and the mediator interact through an electronic medium. Even interacting through phone can be a part of virtual mediation.

When is it used?

A virtual mediation is best when the client is away from home but still needs to go through the divorce proceedings. It’s good for people who stay out-of-state for long periods of time. Also, it works well when both spouses are away from each other and the mediator needs to interact with both of them. A digital mediation process will help bridge the communication gap between both parties. It also works when the interaction involves children. Kids have become used to technology and therefore, it becomes easy for them to interact with someone through an electronic medium.

Conclusion

Mediation processes are important for settling disputes between couples who are heading for a divorce. Since the number of divorces are increasing day by day, it is becoming important for mediators to keep up communication with their clients. And one of the best ways to do so is through a digital media. Video chats can be done from almost anywhere and it helps mediators and clients communicate effectively with each other. Virtual mediation is therefore the latest communication tool for mediators of the 21st Century.

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

Doing Your Homework Before Mediation Increases Likelihood of Success

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhile divorces and legal separation are commonplace these days even after years of togetherness, it is important to ensure that the process is carried out smoothly without further hatred and ill feelings towards one another. Today, many couples decide to embrace mediation for sorting their marital issues in a civilized way while parting so that they can save their money and have no misgivings. Such goals are easier to fulfill when both parties are ready to opt for a mediation while their divorce is underway.  Check out how you can do your homework prior to mediation so that the possibility of getting success is higher.

1. Emotional preparedness
While it may be an obvious one but there are occasions when people cannot keep their emotions under control while discussing about their finances, marriage or children. You should understand that mediators will not be surprised when they find frustration, fury or tears from both sides. There are some people who may have been concealing their true feelings until now and are stunned to see them coming out in the open. When such emotions surface before others, mediation can get stifled. But you should not let your feelings prevent a fruitful mediation. It is important to take a deep breath and gather your emotions and thoughts. You may even request a brief respite.

2. Preparedness with figures
When you want to opt for a mediation for discussing finances, income and properties, a thorough preparedness becomes a necessity. If you want to adopt a number you feel is accurate such as the worth of your marital house, attend the mediation session with the relevant documentation to establish your viewpoint and facilitate the progress of mediation in a smooth manner. Many spouses are known to feel comfortable and relaxed while arriving at an agreement related to finances when they are confident about their figures. Thus, a discussion on proper calculations backed by concrete figures can make the mediation process an effective one.

3. Be prepared to listen more
While it may sound cliche and immature, the framework for any fruitful mediation is to listen to the words of the other party carefully while the mediation is going on. When you listen patiently and prepare your responses carefully. your mediation can be more productive.

Professional Orange County divorce mediators are available to facilitate, assist and guide their clients so that both the parties can have a highly productive discussion and reach an agreement at the end. When both parties are willing to work together and are emotionally and literally prepared for it, the likelihood of a successful and effective divorce mediation can go up significantly.

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

Understanding Uncontested Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsUncontested divorce means the spouses agrees on all major issues linked with getting divorced. These issues include the sharing of parenting responsibilities and also parenting time. The duration of child support and the amount of money must be taken into account. Property division and debt division must also be included.

In case the couple can reach an agreement, they can file paperwork sans any court appearance. The divorce will be final as soon as required period of time as per California law has elapsed. It is to be noted that not all uncontested divorce proceedings are the same. These kind of divorces may also run into choppy weather.  The simplest process happens when no minor children are with the couple and assets are minimal. The proceedings will go fast if each of the spouses are financially independent or capable to support himself or herself by independent means.

If substantial assets or minor children are present

Couples with substantial assets or minor children will be able to move through any uncontested divorce on the proviso that they can agree on all major issues. A few minor disagreements will not derail an uncontested divorce. Negotiation, however, must occur between the two until a complete agreement was reached.  A good communication between the spouses will assist in direct negotiations. In case this cannot be the option, the couple can approach a mediator. The professional can then assist in resolving the disagreements. Negotiation may also be done through attorneys. The last option will ratchet up expenses.

Attorneys and uncontested divorce

At attorney may not need to be hired if the couple concerned was not married for a long time. There is no minor children which needs caring. Assets are also too few to be divided. If a complex situation persists, then it makes a wise move to hire an attorney.

Advantages associated with uncontested divorce

The biggest advantage without hiring an attorney is cost. These kind of divorces are considerably cheaper compared to contested divorces. Any uncontested divorce could be completed by paying court filing fees. Even when there are attorneys involved in preparing the paperwork or assisting with the limited negotiations, these fees could be kept much low if that couple can able to arrive at an agreement without taking legal recourse to any court proceedings. Another advantage of uncontested divorce that it can be done out of court. Conflicts are kept to a minimum and recovery time is sped up.

Top Myths About California Premarital Agreements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Prenuptial agreements Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsOne of the most important things couples need to discuss before getting married is whether they should opt for a premarital or prenuptial agreement (prenup). Almost everyone around you will have some views or the other regarding prenups. Prenups have often been misunderstood and many believe that it means something bad, potentially encouraging or mentally preparing for a divorce before a couple is even married. Below is a list of prenup myths that have been debunked and you’ll find that the agreement is not as bad as it sounds.

Prenups are the reason for divorce

You must have often heard divorcees say that one of the reasons for their divorce was prenups. It is believed that prenups destroy a relationship because it indicates that the one making the agreement is interested in money more than anything else. Although true that prenups are used for protecting financial assets, it is also true that prenups help build a solid foundation for relationships. Couples should be aware of their individual financial standings and should discuss future financial plans with their partners.

Prenups are only used during failed marriages

Another myth regarding prenuptial agreements is that they can only be used when the relationship does not work out. Prenups are useful financial planning tools and help couples determine a good estate plan to save themselves from future financial damage.

Prenups are for gray couples

Contrary to popular belief, prenups are as much for younger couples as they are for older ones. As a matter of fact, young couples should make it a point to sign prenup agreements because it saves future assets for unfair divisions. Nobody knows how much wealth one will accrue over a period of time but it is important to protect financial assets nonetheless.

Prenups are expensive

Compared to your wedding costs, prenups are a bargain. Prenups are protection agreements and are only used when needed. It’s a one-time cost and very helpful in protecting finances.

Prenups are only for the rich

Since prenups are used to protect finances, many people have made it look like they are used only by rich individuals who feel their finances need to be protected. Although true to a certain extent, it is also true that prenups can be used by average earners too. Since prenups protect wealth accumulated during the marriage, it becomes helpful when an average person becomes rich later on in life.

Conclusion

Prenuptial agreements are full of myths and understand the reality should be a matter of priority for married couples. A prenup is a useful tool and can be used for a variety of purposes.

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