5 Reasons to Choose Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce mediation is one the best methods to obtain a divorce. The method in which it is carried out is calm and casual. Fights, spats, and raised voices aren’t part of the process, as it minimizes the arguments by involving the partners in coming up with sound solutions to help maintain peace and understanding between the two. People that are thinking of filing for divorce should consider choosing divorce mediation for the following five reasons:

1.     You Are In-Charge

The divorce mediator doesn’t interfere in the decision making process, but is more like the third person that works with you, helping you and your partner come up with a solution to satisfy both of your needs. Throughout divorce mediation, the reins are in your hands and you get to decide what happens from here and the factors that will affect it.

2.     You Will Save Money

Going to court to get a divorce will burn up your savings fast. This isn’t a good idea, especially for those couples that have children. Even if you are childless, don’t you want to save money to celebrate your freedom of being single again? The only way to do that is if you go to a divorce mediator, as they are more affordable.

3.     Plan Your Future

Divorce mediation will help both of you come up with a plan for the future. Instead of focusing all your energy on bashing your significant other, focus on what lies ahead and where you will go from here. Going to court will not get you that.

If you go to court, you would be missing all the important things to consider when getting divorced, as both would be too occupied at finding faults with one and other. At mediation, you can come up with creating financial and tax planning solutions to benefit the both of you.

4.     Protect Your Children

No one loves your kids more than you do. That’s why you can’t leave the decision up to the judge to decide who gets the kids. Both of you should come up with a plan that will be in the best interests of your kids. For instance, if a partner gets to keep the house, the other partner shouldn’t force them to give it up, as giving it up would mean losing the roof over your children’s head.

5.     You Can Get Out of the Mediation Process

The minute you begin to question the divorce mediator’s ability to help you come up with an effective agreement, get out of there and move on to the next one. You don’t want to stick around if you feel they won’t be able to help you settle your differences in an effective manner.

Divorce mediation in Orange County and elsewhere with the help of a mediator helps partners draw up an agreement containing their own terms and condition. In doing so, the agreement holds more value and shows maturity.

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

How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediation-attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsNo matter how old they are when you and your significant other decide to part ways, your children will still be greatly affected by the divorce. It will be up to you and your partner to see to it that they handle the news well. Don’t bombard them with the news when they least expect it, but explain to them why both of you have taken this decision.

Even though your children may already know that something’s up, most probably, they are too afraid to admit. For this one time, you and your partner will have to band together and break the news gently to them, and here’s how you should do it:

1.     Do It Together

When you break the news to your children, you should do it together. Parents that do it alone because they can’t stand their ex, confuse their child even more, as they will be hearing two different versions from two different perspectives. Therefore, both of you need to sit together to decide on a story to tell your child. Try to agree on a story to tell them that doesn’t end with your father or mother is bad.

2.     Do Not Blame Your Partner

Your partner and you may not see eye to eye anymore, but the doesn’t give you grounds to mock your ex in front of your child. Your child doesn’t need any more drama in their life, as this is a sensitive time for them. If your children are young, they will be more impressionable, which means they may blame themselves for your divorce. This is something that you need to avoid doing at all costs and anytime, you well up with anger, think of your children to help you cool down and regain your exposure.

3.     Use Simple Language

Young children don’t want you to provide them with a complex reason such as “Your father cheated on me.” You want to explain to them about what is exactly going to happen after the two of you get divorced. You start by telling them that one of you is going to get an apartment, which they will come and visit. However, this conversation needs to happen after both of you have decided on the days and times each will get to spend time with your child.

4.     Do Not Delve Into the Details

You will have to stay organized during this time, as you don’t want your child to come across anything that they shouldn’t be seeing. Moreover, you will have to take certain precautions when discussing your divorce proceedings. You don’t want your child to witness both of you discussing matters that rile each other up. So, choose a time, place, and day to talk about this, away from home.

Children are the glue that keeps a family together and you want to keep that glue intact by being careful in how you both address each other in their presence.

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

Why You Should Rise Above The Self-Defeating Thoughts in Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsGoing through a divorce can take a toll on your health and your mood. You don’t feel as energetic and full of life as you used to. Most of the time, you probably sulk around the house or apartment that you’re now living in wondering why this happened to you.

Now, you’ll have to drag yourself to court each day to look him or her in the eye, something that you wish you didn’t have to. The end of the marriage will not be as amicable as the beginning was, and the burden of knowing that may be slowly eating you up inside. The moment that you may dread the most is having your failed marriage on display for others to see and talk about how you failed to work out the differences.

You fear that they will deem you responsible or side with your partner without knowing the whole truth. That’s when you wish to hide in your room and never come out. Do you know what we think about your self-defeating thoughts? We want you to stop telling yourself that it was your fault or that you didn’t try hard enough.

Instead, tell yourself that you gave it your all, but this was how it was meant to be. However, it’s easier said than done, as going to court and seeing him blame you or go after your kids, if you have any, may devastate and break you. In order to stay strong and rise above the self-defeating thoughts, try to convince your partner to try divorce mediation.

How Will Divorce Mediation Help You Squash Your Negative Thoughts?

Divorce mediation will provide you with a peace of mind. How? Unlike in litigation proceedings where it’s a do or die situation, in divorce mediation, both parties are putting their differences behind them and moving forward with the divorce in a mature manner. All the petty and major issues are addressed with their solutions drawn up. Each party gets to tell their side of the story, why they need this, and whether something can be exchanged.

In doing so, it creates a better understanding between the two parties, helping them come up with a solution to a problem that will benefit both of them. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to depart on good terms so if you see your ex later on in life, neither of you will feel furious or cheated by each other.

If you have children, divorce mediation should be at top of your list anyways. No parent would like to put his or her children through the turmoil of seeing two angry parents. Through divorce mediation, you will be able to drop your child off to your ex’s house without any hesitation and resentment.

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

How to Easily Handle Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMost divorces, however amicably they are resolved, tend to leave a stressful impact on both the parties that are involved. A divorce is a life changing experience and hence, it is definite that it is likely to have ramifications on your future, and not just your present. When you know that there will be an impact of your divorce on the future, you should try to make sure that impact is positive. To make sure you have a bright future, there are few tips that you should follow after your divorce.

·        Stay Positive

The most common mindset after a divorce, is to continue to recall the negative aspects of the divorce and feel pain over them time and again. The best way to tackle such a situation is to look at the bright side. Look at the positive aspects that might come as a result of the divorce and continue to concentrate on them.

·        Talk to Your Spouse, Clear the Air

However long your marriage would have lasted, it was still one of the most beautiful relations in the world for you. After it has ended, there shouldn’t be a sense of bitterness among the two of you. The best way to ensure you stay free of stress and disarray, you should clear the air with your spouse. Establish and maintain good communications with your spouse, especially if you have kids.

·        Take Care of Yourself

The best way to have a good future is to stay in fine shape and good health throughout. It is often seen that people tend to stop caring about themselves when they have just gone through a divorce. It is important that in such times of high stress, you eat and sleep right, or else you will be risking your health.

·        Give Respect To Get Respect

The easiest thing to do is to bad mouth your spouse once the Orange County divorce proceedings are over. The more you talk negatively about your spouse, the greater the amount of negativity that will surround you. This point is highly applicable if you have kids with your spouse. Kids can be very badly affected by divorce, and the last thing they would want at such a juncture is to hear negative talks about their other parent.

·        Be Strong Where You Have To Be

Sometimes if you aren’t string for your point of view, it is seen as your declaration of defeat. That however, should not be the case. One aspect of making sure life after divorce is better is that you have to ensure you get your rights in the divorce. Stand strong on issues such as child support, alimony payments, and divisions of assets in the court, and don’t get bullied into agreeing anything.

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

Same Sex Divorce and Domestic Partnership Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsSame sex divorce and dissolution of domestic partnership mediation can help your partner and you end your marriage or domestic partnership on amicable terms. If things aren’t working out between the two of you, both of you can seek a divorce mediator. However, before you do, you should know that same sex marriage is not legal in every state and the laws to grant a divorce are different from straight couples. Following are some differences that same sex couples should know:

1.     Location of Marriage

Same sex couples that married in a state that legalized same sex marriage, but live in a state that has yet to, need to file in the state that recognized their union in order to get a divorce. Additionally, the same sex couples need to be a resident of the state that they are filing.  For instance, California, which allows same sex couples to get married, requires them to live there for six months.

2.     Living in Two Different States

Same sex couples that no longer live with each other, but are separated and living in different states will come across certain challenges. For instance, you live in Ohio where same sex marriage is recognized while your partner moved to Iowa that doesn’t recognize the union. For all medical decisions, your ex in Iowa will be in-charge of making medical decisions. Even if Iowa doesn’t recognize the union, it recognizes medical decisions.

3.     You Cannot Remarry, Unless Divorced

Same sex couples need to take extra care when moving on to the next relationship, especially if they haven’t filed for divorce. If they become married again, they will face a bigamy charge. You will have to get a divorce in the state you got married, before moving on.

4.     Laws Are Always Changing

Laws change constantly, which means that the laws of a particular state that doesn’t allow same sex marriages can change as well. If they do change while the same sex couple is still living there, they will get all the rights of a married couple. This means that both of you will now be eligible for divorce.

5.     Child Custody Problems

If you and your partner adopted a child together, you will not be treated any differently in the court of law than other married couples. The proceedings of who gets custody of the child are the same for them as they are for everyone else. Just as every other soon to be divorced couple, you and your partner will have to sit down with a divorce mediator to decide who gets custody on what days.

6.     Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Although most straight couples may seek a pre-nuptial agreement, if they have anything to lose if a divorce occurs, most same sex couples do not. Since same sex marriages are fairly new, most of them do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.

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

Tips To Make Sure You Continue To Be A Good Parent For Your Child

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsBeing a good parent to your child does not have anything to do with your marriage being intact. This statement is important to remember for parents who tend to get depressed at the prospect of single parenting after and during an Orange County divorce. Children who live with single parents lead a different life, and the parent who has custody needs to be on top of things at all times. You have to realize that the responsibilities you shared with your partner in raising your children are now yours to bear.

We know that whether the household of the single parent is under a father or a mother, parenting through a divorce, and after it, can be a huge task to fulfill. Here are some tips on how to make sure you maintain your quality of parenting.

·        In Your House Only You Rule

The most important part about parenting is being able to set boundaries. The faster you set boundaries and the clearer they are, the easier parenting will become for you. One of the biggest mistakes that single parents can do is to give their children the status that is equal to peers, thereby undermining their own authority over them. While this may, in the short term, make for a pleasant time. This is likely to catch up with you over the long term, and lack of discipline and control over the child is the most obvious drawback of this strategy. To make sure you stay an effective parent, keep that control and authority over your child intact.

·        Believe In Yourself And The Task At Hand

The only way you can make sure you are a good single parent for your child during the divorce proceedings is to know that you are capable of being one. Belief is vital to achieve anything, especially an uphill task such as this one. To have the best shot at being a successful parent, you should be highly motivated. The only thing worst for your child to see his parents breakup is to see the parent in charge of him doubting his own ability. Believe in yourself, keep a positive approach, and stay positive throughout the parenting process.

·        Deal With The Increased Stress And Know Your Limitations

It is common for single parents to start to feel consumed and choked by the large volume of responsibilities arriving suddenly after a divorce. At this point, it is important that you keep your calm and channel your energy first of all to try and prioritize the task, and then to effectively tackle them one by one. At the end of the day, you should always remember that you are only one person and can only do so much. You’ll need to talk to your children and work with them as a team. Don’t worry, it’s all worth it.

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

A Guide to Marital Settlement Agreements in Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediators; California Divorce MediatorsMarital settlement agreement is a contract signed by both parties, agreeing on the terms and conditions decided by them during the divorce mediation process. The contract is then made part of the dissolution of marriage order and has the same impact as a judge would have if he or she had decided on who gets what in court.

If the contract is just, both divorcing parties will be content with what they agreed upon during the mediation sessions. However, in the case of a family court, the judge may view the agreement to make a ruling on the fairness of the agreement drawn up.

Normally, the agreement is final, which is a relief for both parties, as the conflicts were put to rest during the divorce mediation sessions. In some cases, the partners may require the assistance of a lawyer if the combined assets are high in value or if minor children are involved. If you’re not facing any such issue, you won’t need a lawyer to assist you negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract and through divorce mediation, you’ll be able to take care of all the major aspects of the divorce.

What Does a Marital Settlement Agreement Contain?

Marital settlement agreement contains important categories that will have a profound effect on your life after the divorce is finalized. The divorce mediator will go over one category at a time during the several sessions that you will have with him or her.

The discussion will be about various issues that need to be sorted out before anything is signed. Some of the issues that are discussed include the division of property, division of debts, alimony, visitation rights, child support, and child custody.

These issues during a litigation proceedings can take days to decide, but not during divorce mediation sessions. The reason for this is that both parties enter the mediation session with a cool head and on the basis of creating an understanding between the two instead of adding more fire to the fuel. Here is a list of issues discussed in the meetings:

  • Minor Children– Who gets the children, visitations days and time, and other issues are discussed.
  • Alimony– This depends on the laws of the state you filed for divorce in.
  • Division of Assets– Personal property such as money, stocks, bank accounts, bonds, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, furniture, clothing, cars, and other assets are discussed. Next, on the list to be discussed is real property such as the house or any stores that you own.
  • Debts– Both of your debts will be discussed in detail, and then will be divided amongst the both of you. However, the debt must be applicable to you and if you were responsible for it, you should take ownership for it to minimize conflict.

After all of these points are covered in detail, the partners will decide what they want to do and draft the marital settlement agreement.

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

The Fate of Your Wedding Ring in Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsHow do you know when it’s finally over between the two of you? Taking off your wedding ring is an obvious sign that you’re no longer interested in working on the marriage. So, do you bury it in your closet or sell it? Burying it in the closet will not help you move on, but selling it will give you some composure.

Your wedding ring can be included as part of the divorce proceedings. The fate of the wedding ring will be in the hands of the judge, not you. Well, that is somewhat unfair, as you should be the one to decide the fate of your property, from the house down to the wedding ring. Do you know what?

We agree with you! You should have a say, as it’s your future that’s being decided here. Divorce litigation will be unfair to both of you, and not to mention brutal, if the judge decides to award your wedding ring to your partner. If both of you come to a mutual understanding and decide to go with divorce mediation, your views and opinions will be heard.

How Divorce Mediation Works in Your Favor

Divorce mediation requires your partner and you to be upfront with each other regarding all the financial documents such as pending debts, income, retirement, assets, and property, including the wedding ring. During divorce mediation, you can raise questions regarding the validity of the financial documents presented before you that is if you suspect your partner isn’t disclosing something he or she should.

After everything is out in the open and you don’t suspect foul play, you can raise the question about the future of the wedding ring. Since your partner and you understand the sentimental value behind a small piece of jewelry, you will be better suited to make a decision regarding its fate.

Even though selling the wedding ring is the most chosen option, people have opted to keep the wedding ring to turn it into something new or pass it down to their daughter or son, if they have children. Sometimes, the partners don’t mind their ex not sharing the profit of the ring with them, if they decide to sell it. Therefore, divorce mediation tops the list of ways to obtain a divorce on your own terms and conditions, without harboring any bad blood in the end of it.

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

6 Tips to Properly Manage Child Handovers after Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediation-attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIf your child lives with you, but has to be away from you for periods of time, it can be tough.  Even though your child is with your ex, you still feel as if a part of you is missing. Even if your child stays with you for a longer time, you still feel a form of separation anxiety when they are away. Did you know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way?

Your ex and your child feel exactly as you do. No one likes to be away from their kid just as no child likes to be away from their parents. Therefore, you along with your ex and child will have to learn how to manage handovers. Follow these six tips to learn to manage handovers:

1.     Understand Other People’s Feelings

When you have to give up your child to your ex, you feel nervous and anxious while the receiving end feels excited. Both parties need to understand each other’s feelings in order to make a smooth transition. Don’t approach the handover with resentment, but know that the other party in a couple of weeks will feel the same way as you do now.

2.     Do Not Bring the Entire Family to the Handover

The handover isn’t easy for your child, as he or she will be joining one parent and leaving behind the other. It may be an emotional time for both the parents and the child. Therefore, you need to make it between just the three of you. This means to leave the grandparents, stepchildren, stepparents, and best friends at home.

3.     Comprehend Your Child’s Feelings

Your child may be the most vulnerable during a handover. Children will act differently and their behavior may change as the time nears for the handover to occur. You will need to comprehend your child’s feelings and not lash out at them if they feel the need to rebel. It’s preferred that you sit them down, both before and after the handover to talk to them about it. When your child arrives back home, give him or her time to adjust to the surroundings.

4.     Do Not Fight with Your Ex

It’s given that your ex and you may not get along with each other very well and you may take his or her outburst against you as a personal attack. The unexpected outbursts or taunts may occur at the handover, which you need to learn to ignore. Remember, the person giving their child away at the handover may say something hurtful to their ex, as they are probably already hurting from inside.

5.     Do Not Rush Your Child to Spend Time with You

The parents getting the child may be over the moon with excitement and may want to spend time with them immediately. However, your child may not feel the same, especially on their first day with you. So, don’t pressure your child, but give them time to adjust.

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

Remembering New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsNo matter what stage of the divorce process you are in, the arrival of the new year makes it a great time to make a few changes that will put you and your divorce on the high road.  Especially for those in a litigated divorce, the process can make you feel stuck and bogged down.  Follow these tips to regain a sense of momentum in your life:

  1. Take care of yourself.

Many New Year’s resolutions focus on losing weight and making more money.  But if you are going through a divorce, your number one resolution should be to be to surround yourself with support, kindness and love.  Make a standing weekly or monthly date with good friends and family members.  The American Psychological Association suggests joining a divorce support group.  Having lots of emotions is normal – decide now to start getting them out so that they don’t control you.

  1. If you have children, see a co-parenting counselor.

This is a great resolution for parents in any stage of the divorce process.  Even divorced parents who have amicably co-parented for years can benefit from a few sessions with a co-parenting counselor.  This allows parents to evaluate how things have been working and to communicate about any areas for improvement.

  1. If you are not using divorce mediation, give it a chance.

Even if you are in the middle of a long, litigated divorce, it is not too late to save money and time by exploring mediation.  If you and your soon-to-be-ex are both feeling demoralized by the expense and length of an adversarial divorce, the new year could be a great time to open the discussion about taking a new, less costly and more peaceful path to finalizing the divorce.

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