Tips on Mediation with Conflict Personalities–Part 2

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediator; California Divorce MediatorsThis blog is a continuation of the previous blog titled “Tips to Mediation with Conflict Personalities–Part 1”. This blog series highlights the tips that a spouse can take when going into Orange County divorce mediation with a high-conflict personality spouse.

Here is a continuation of the tips. It is best that you read the first blog before reading this one to have a better understanding of the topic.

  • The problem with a high conflict spouse in a divorce is that they suffer from distortions and have a belief of being right always. This can take over and make them extremely persuasive, you need to stay well of any attempts of persuasion and maintain healthy skepticism.
  • Sometimes Orange County divorce mediation can start to get out of hands with high conflict personalities raging on with their unruly behavior. Even in times like these maintain your confidence and calm.
  • If you can, try and lower their levels of expectations. They might be looking to have everything from the Orange County divorce for themselves and gentle reminders here and there that this is not the case, will help them deal with the final agreement better.
  • Make sure you don’t come out as offensive to your spouses, even though they might be livid and unruly. Continue to respect them despite their taunts or antics.
  • Try to seek mutual agreements along the way with your HCP spouse, so that they have a feeling of being taken into confidence every step of the way.
  • Request the mediator to control the show of open emotions by either of the party. For a high conflict personality managing their emotions is next to impossible, which means once they start to vent their emotions, there may be no stopping them. Ask the mediator cut their vents before they start to go on long. Orange County mediators should merely acknowledge their emotions before leaving them in the backdrop and moving ahead.
  • If you are looking to make your point, try and not be directly offensive to your HCP spouses. In such cases, they would want to respond and retaliate creating a sticky situation.

Advice for Orange County divorce mediators on handling HCP personalities in mediation.

  • Tell the HCP spouse to keep a calm head and not react on proposals offered by the other spouse. Simply tell them to respond to proposals using single words such as a yes, no or a let’s see. Instead of giving them the podium to bash the living daylight out of the proposal and the proposing spouse.
  • Tell them that the process is on them, if they want to opt out they can but that their best realistic chance at a solution is through mediation.
  • When the two spouses finally agree on a solution for their Orange County divorce, make sure the agreement has strong non compliance clauses. It is best if you ask the HCP spouse to propose these.

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

Mediation Guidelines for Divorcing Parents

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationTo most people that have not had a divorce, Orange County divorce seems like one of the hardest most complex legal cases. They believe that the California courts and the Orange County divorce mediation services are enemies of one another, with neither of them accepting the other’s jurisdiction. This however is not the case. The family courts in California have programs that are designed to allow parents to mediate their custody issues to try and solve them out of court.

This is more common in cases of child custody where both parents are in disagreement as to the child custody arrangements. The judge will look to give them a chance at an amicable decision before making up their mind and deciding the case on his/her own. The court of law in California has a few guidelines that it expects divorcing parents to follow when they are looking to get divorced.

These can be things like making sure that the mutual respect between the two spouses is maintained, the spouses listen to each other before deciding on their line of action and most importantly to put the needs of the child above those of anyone else.

In a typical Orange County divorce mediation, the mediator might interview the child, if that would help the parents make up their minds in terms of agreeing on a single parenting plan. While the child will be questioned, it is strict guideline by the court that the approach of the interview must not be one that makes the child choose sides.

While the interviews of the child may be optional, then mediator is likely to interview both parents either simultaneously or one by one in private. According to the guidelines the choice of what type of interview is to be done rests on the spouses/parents. In cases of domestic violence or for couples that have a bitter history or restraining orders, a one by one interview in private works best.

Once the interviews are over the mediator will have a clear picture of the situation, he must then facilitate and encourage the two spouses to converse and sort out their differences amicably between themselves. According to the FSC guidelines the contents of the mediation are generally confidential in Orange County unless ordered otherwise by the court.

While this mediation can be called a type of mediation, it does not enjoy the same freedom as Orange County divorce mediation that is independent of the courts.

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

Celebrities Turning to California Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney in orange county; California Divorce MediationDivorce has become something of norm in the society today with people increasingly looking to end their relations irrespective of their long standing associations with one another. Increasingly, the entertainment industry which is popular for its off and on brewing romances is seeing established married couples heading for divorce.

The case of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has been one of the most popular ones in recent times. Yet there are other cases of celebrities turning to divorce mediation when things in their relationship started to reach a point of no return.

Something that all country music lovers will be aware of is that the wife of one of the leading country singers, Trace Adkins, has filled for divorced. She reportedly demanded a settlement amount that is worth close to $20 million. The huge amount that was demanded in the settlement was one reason, many observers started to believe that the couple would be embroiled in a bitter legal case. Yet, in a matter of months, the lawyer of the performer announced that the couple had agreed on a settlement amicably with each other through an Orange County private mediation.

The attorney of Mr. Adkins was clear on the fact that the agreement had been reached amicably, but was not willing to share any details of the settlement between the two spouses. The mediation settlement that has been concluded and agreed between the two spouse will not be workable until and unless it is approved by the family law court.

The couple had been married for over 16 years, and their marriage bore three children. Trace Adkins has always been one of the household names in the country music industry with his very first album having a platinum debut that had around five hits. Since then, he has gone on from strength to strength in his career having been nominated for a host of Grammy Awards.

According to various media outlets, the spouse of Trace Adkins, Rhonda, asked for primary custody of the children in addition to child and spousal support and then fees of her attorney to be paid. While the terms of both the parties were starkly against the other, the couple during their divorce mediation decided to reach a compromise. The primary reason for them to make a compromise was to make sure that their children were protected from the media glare that comes with high profile celebrity divorce court cases.

The case of Trace Adkins and his wife and how they decided to make sure that their dispute and its resolution remained private is a lesson in Orange County divorce mediation for all of us. It shows how the use of mediation can rescue couples from even the stickiest of situations and the bitterest of conflicts by talking their issues out in the presence of a mediator.

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

4 Secrets to Having a Successful Remarriage

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmTo most people in society and who have gone through a divorce, a divorce is considered as the end of the chapter of one’s married life. This however is not the case. Irrespective of the method of divorce you have gone through, whether it is an Orange County divorce mediation or litigation. Once you have divorced does not meant that you are doomed to be alone and shouldn’t remarry.

As the popular saying goes “The show must go on” so must your life. If you are willing to continue to live your life happily and successfully while keeping your past behind you, there should be no barrier to such a noble thought. In this article, we give you a few secrets that can help you form a successful second marital relation after the setback of the first.

Make Sure Your First Marriage Is Put To Rest

The only way you can build a successful relation in your second marriage is if you have put your first marriage to rest. Putting to rest here means making sure that legally there are no cases pertaining to your divorce and that you are emotionally and financially over your divorce. People who have gone through an Orange County divorce mediation to end their first marriage will usually find this easier to do.

Take A Look Back At The Reasons Of Failure Of The First Marriage

There is a reason that your first marriage ended up the way that it did. Hence you should look back at your first marriage’s mistakes and reasons for divorce and try and make sure they aren’t repeated in this marriage. A first marriage should work as a prototype where you can highlight your own weaknesses and issues and start to work on it for a better future.

Be Sure To Sort The Finances Out At The Start

The financial side of things in second marriages can be tricky with child support payments and alimony payments affecting your finances. As long as that is increasing your finances, it may not be as much of an issue as it would if you are the spouse that has to make these payments. In that case, it is best that you are open with your new spouses and that you talk them through your financial situation to avoid future issues.

Don’t Take The Baggage Of Negativity Into The New Relationship

Unless you have gotten a divorce through Orange County divorce mediation, the fights and the bickering in your divorce proceedings will leave you with a large amount of negativity in you. The key to making a new relationship work is to make sure that the negativity from your previous relationship is not taken out on the new person in your life. The new spouses that you are planning to live with had nothing to do with you previous divorce and you should make sure they don’t bear its brunt either.

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

The Role of Alternate Dispute Resolution in Orange County Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsThe increasing levels of divorce in Orange County and the rest of the U.S. can be termed as alarming at the very least. The increase in the number of people opting for an Orange County divorce has meant that the system of family law has all the more recently been flooded with cases of divorce to deal with and dispense. These cases of divorce can range from being complex to simple, long trials cases to short agreement affirmation ones.

A New Solution

Irrespective of the type of the case, the Orange County family law court have become the center of all things divorce over the past few decades. The rising number of cases, and the delays in proceedings etc, has meant that people are now looking for easier avenues to settle their divorces in. The search for these easier avenues has meant that newer divorce procedures are being adopted that are both legally compatible and significantly different to court proceedings in their functioning.

Over the years around the world with the rising number of cases and disputes pending in courts, methods of alternative dispute resolutions were developed to cope. These methods of alternative dispute resolutions much like the name suggest are methods of resolutions that do not involve the courts in the process in any which way (except for implementation).

Alternative dispute resolution, much like its use in other areas of law, has increasingly started to be used in the Orange County divorce cases. Before we look at that though, here is a list of few methods of alternative dispute resolution that have been readily used.

Methods Of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Some common dispute resolution methods are:

  • Collaborative divorce
  • Mediation

All these methods of alternative dispute resolutions have and are playing their part to try and lessen the burden on the courts with respect to legal disputes. Among these methods, mediation is the method that is best suited for resolution of cases of divorce.

Divorce Mediation

Orange County divorce mediation is starting to gain a foothold in the avenues of divorce in California. Mediation is a branch of the alternative dispute resolution tree but is significantly different and more cost-effective than collaborative divorce.

Divorce mediation, despite being tasked with trying to lessen the workload of family law courts, is starkly different in procedure and style to courts. Mediation as a process is more about empowerment and freedom to the spouses to be able to reach a conclusion themselves. The role of the Orange County divorce mediator is to facilitate the couples and make sure they are on the right track in terms of their discussions. Unlike the courts which have to decide cases, the mediator is more than happy to take a back seat and let the couples decide their fate on their own.

One of the advantages of using mediation is that any decision taken can be implemented to in courts if there are issues developing later on with the mutually accepted decision.

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

Advantages of Getting A Prenuptial Agreement in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsOnce of the leading reasons people get into divorce is because of the monetary windfall the less privileged spouse can get from his/her wealthy counterpart. However, there have been legal methods developed to make sure financial benefits are not a motivator for divorce. One such act is the introduction of a prenuptial, also known as a pre-marital agreement, between the spouses at a sufficient time well before the wedding date.

What is a Prenuptial (Premarital) Agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement that the spouses have prepared weeks or months before the wedding. Simply put, this agreement outlines the number of assets or the percentage that either of the spouses will be entitled to in case of divorce. Such agreements tend to allow the wealthier spouses to keep hold of much of their estate, instead of having to share considerable chunks of it with their spouses.

Advantages of Prenuptial Agreements

Over the years, with the number of wealthy people increasing, the use of prenuptial agreements has become more of a norm rather than an exception. Here is a list of a few advantages of getting into a prenuptial agreement.

·         A Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect Financial Stability

This is the primary reason most people want a pre nuptial agreement in the first place. In cases of divorce that are run and tried for in the Orange County family law courts, the law wants the assets owned by either of the spouse to be shared among both the spouses. This would be a disadvantage to you if you’re the party with the larger number of assets. Once you get into a pre-nuptial agreement though, you are better able to protect your assets.

·         Reduces Unnecessary Conflict

When it comes to divorce cases, there are large number of conflicts that can develop between the spouses owing to monetary disagreements and problems with asset distribution. This not only will stretch the divorce case further, but is also likely to have an adverse affect on the children that are part of the marriage.

When spouses get into a pre nuptial agreement, they are already deciding on the percentage of asset distribution and what each spouses will be entitled to after divorce. Once a prenuptial agreement has been signed, both the spouses will be aware of their worth and the assets that they will have a control over if the relationship ends. Knowing this would not only deter the divorces done to gain ample money for them but also help in little asset distribution conflicts among spouses in family law courts.

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

Creating Boundaries after Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators orange county; California Divorce MediatorsIrrespective of the context of a divorce, the need for each of the spouses to have contact with and meet their children remains. This can be a tricky exercise since kids will be in the custody of the opposing parent. Irrespective of that however, if this meeting of the spouses with their children over short periods of time can be managed effectively, it will result in a healthy relationship developing between the two former spouses. The best way to do that is to manage it in a way that continues to respect the integrity, respect, and authority of the parent who has custody and allows the other parent to become more and more accessible.

While the above paragraph outlines a rosy picture that can be achieved with the two spouses working together, in reality there are limits that each of the spouses should create and adhere to after a divorce to avoid hurting the other party or having negative effect on their child’s well being. Here is a list of a few steps that you can use to set boundaries with your spouse.

Talk About Less Things

Irrespective of the way of divorce you have chosen, whether it is through Orange County divorce mediation or through divorce litigation, there is bound to be some bitterness between the two spouses. This bitterness tends to come to the fore when former spouses are going to talk about sensitive issues. Therefore, it is best that you decide with your spouse on only having to communicate on a few topics preferably the ones that concern the welfare and health of the child.

Exhibit Mutual Respect

While the mutual admiration between the two spouses is unlikely to exist after a divorce, they should both work to make sure there continues to be mutual respect. Mutual respect is usually lost in long fought divorce cases in courts. If you have used Orange County divorce mediation, there is sure to be some sort of mutual respect between the two spouses. Make sure that this mutual respect is maintained at all times in conversations, and limit your emotions from coming into play.

Keep Your Most Valuable Assets (The Kids) Away from the Drama

This is one of the most important steps to follow, since it not only involves the well being of you and your former spouse but most importantly the well being of your kids. Never use the kids as messengers to send messages to the other spouse. Children should be kept as far away from their parent’s unhealthy relationship as possible. One of the most important things in this regards is also to make sure you refrain from abusing, criticizing, or negatively portraying the other spouses.

This is because although your divorce may have hurt you, to the kids that person remains his /her parent.

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

A Brief On Orange County Trial Setting Conferences

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThe decision to divorce is a life altering decision and therefore needs to be considered well in advance before you go to court. When a couple decides to get divorced, this is only the first of the many important decisions that the person would have to make in the coming time. Once you have decided to divorce, you need to think about and decide on the method of divorce.

Once you have filed for divorce, at some point, the court may schedule a trial setting conference if you are litigating your case.

A Hearing To Set The Trial Date

Trial setting conferences are one of the many important aspects in the functioning of the court that will affect your Orange County divorce case. The importance of a trial setting hearing can be seen by the fact that they are the first steps to getting a trial date allotted in your case. A trial setting conference is strictly a legal matter and more often than not only the lawyers of the spouses will attend these hearings. There are, however, some exceptions for the spouses to appear in the hearing if they want to or when they are summoned by the court to attend it.

Scenarios In The Trial Setting Hearing

Once the trial setting hearing has started in the Orange County Family Law Court, the judge will ask both the layers a question. The question from the judge would inquire as to the state of the case preparation of each party. There can be two probable scenarios in this case, both of them are outlined below.

  • Both the parties reply to the Judge in affirmative and are ready for trial. In this case, the judge will most probably look to set a trial date for the trials to begin. The trial date would be set making sure of the availability of both parties and their lawyers.
  • One of the parties tells the judge that they lack preparation and need more time. In this case, the judge will set a new date for the trial setting hearing in the future giving the unprepared party the time to prepare their case. Although in some cases if there has been an unnecessary delay in the case, the judge can set the trial date irrespective.

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

Comparing Approaches to Divorce in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce is one of the most important decisions in one’s life and should be taken after considering all other solutions. There are three major ways that couples look to get themselves divorced: divorce litigation, divorce mediation, and collaborative divorce.

This blog is going to provide a quick breakdown of all three of these methods, so that you are able to make the right decision when it comes to choosing your mode of divorce.

Who Has The Power To Decide?

In mediation and collaboration, the two spouses have all the power to resolve their issues and reach a solution. This can sometimes result in bitter conflicts and wastage of time. More often than not, the bitterness of the divorce can make the spouses stubborn and unwilling to make compromises, and where divorce mediation may not work.

Case Types

·         Divorce Litigation

The majority of divorce cases are decided through the Orange County litigation proceedings. The reason for a large majority of cases being decided through litigation is because most spouses tend to have trust in the decision of an impartial judge.

·         Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is used by spouses that are willing to work with each other but want the help of their lawyers and others involved in the collaborative process in making sure that their divorce goes down smoothly.

·         Mediation

In cases where couples are looking to end their divorce without having to battle it out in court and have the most cordial relationships, mediation is exercised.


·         Divorce Litigation

Divorce litigation is an open process with the records, the facts, and the information used in the court being public property. While this may be a hindrance as to the confidentiality part, yet the fact that they are able to be open to public ensures the transparency of the whole method.

·         Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, all the facts of the case, the legal information, and the financial and other documents are kept confidential and only the final decision that has been taken is made public.

·         Mediation

Much like collaborative divorce in mediation too all the facts of the case, the legal information, the financial and other documents are kept confidential and only the final decision that has been taken is made public property.

What Is The Best Choice?

Choosing the better choice among the three methods depends primarily on what suits you, but it is important to know that divorce mediation is the most cost-effective and expedient option.

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

3 Stress Busters for Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators orange county; California Divorce MediatorsOne thing that makes Orange County divorce mediation stand head and shoulders above the other divorce resolution methods is the reputation it has for being constructive. Divorce mediation is less emotionally taxing, allowing for less bitterness between the spouses throughout the process. Having said that, anyone who goes through divorce irrespective of whether it is through litigation or mediation will have to face stress. There can be a variety of reasons for stress in a divorce mediation, some of which are as follows:

  • Financial uncertainty
  • The thought of being alone
  • Thoughts of having failed
  • The future of the children
  • The perception in society

Irrespective of these reasons, what is important for a person going through mediation is to manage this stress. This will be the key to the level of success in your Orange County divorce mediation. Here are some tips to manage your stress:

·         Give Yourself Some Time

Do you continue to have fond memories of your teens and your childhood? If that’s the case, you’ll know that one of the reasons for that is the level of enjoyment you had back then. What you must realize now is that enjoyment was because you did things that you wanted to, that you liked to. When you are faced with the problem of stress, this is what you need to do. You need to make sure you give yourself the utmost importance. Go out and try things that you have wanted to, and do things you like.

We realize that you may be feeling stressed and under pressure, but much like a pressure cooker, you should remove the cog and let the pressure out. Read a book that you like, watch a movie, or go dancing. When you feel stressed, that is the time you need to take care of yourself the most, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

·         Don’t Forget to Breathe

Sometimes we are so occupied with our stress, anxiety, and pressure that we forget to breathe. Breathe here is not literal but figurative. When you are under immense pressure, that is when you need to pull out all the stocks and keep yourself calm and collected. Try to stay at ease, and breathe deeply for 5 minutes a day, as it has been medically proven to lessen the level of anxiety in a person.

·         Look at the End of the Tunnel

Negotiating a divorce can be hard, even a peaceful and cooperative one such as Orange County divorce mediation. Yet, the best way to do that is to stay focused at the end product – the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you are able to keep your focus on the future, you will be able to keep your stress levels down.

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