The Choice Between An Emotional and a “Conscious Uncoupling” Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsHave you seen couples ending their relationship? Are you aware of the pain that they go through? Divorce is one of the toughest decision couples can take in their lives. A divorce can mean an emotionally-charged decision that is likely to leave the spouses broken and shattered. The intense emotions that are associated with divorce can often lead couples making terrible choices that end up haunting them for rest of their lives. Having a peaceful divorce is something that all couples should want, and the idea of what a peaceful divorce can mean was brought to the forefront in 2014 by Gwyneth Paltrow’s announcement in 2014 that she was “consciously uncoupling” from her relationship to musician Chris Martin of the band Coldplay after more than 10 years of marriage. Although the term “conscious uncoupling” has been the butt of jokes since then, the process of conscious uncoupling is really a process for completing a relationship in a more amicable and mature way that leaves the parties feeling at peace, whole and without the destruction and emotional turmoil associated with nasty divorces.  In other words, at the end of the day, the end of the relationship/marriage is viewed as more of the completion of the relationship, which allows the parties to feel good about how they handled the divorce process and to be able to focus their energy into moving on and making their next relationship better because they themselves have grown as opposed to focusing on the blame and heartbreak of the past.

Talk to Yourself

One of the most popular sayings in the world is “you are what you believe you are”. Continuing on this belief, you can have a divorce just like you believe you deserve. Negative emotions with respect to the other spouse are common, especially if the divorce is not mutually agreed upon. Most people associate all kinds of slangs with their spouse, what is important to realize though is that you can never have a peaceful divorce unless you want it. As long as you have the sense of bitterness in your heart and mind about your spouse, there is always going to be a wall between you and a peaceful divorce.

At this point of time, it is important that you have a conversation with yourself. Make sure you lay out the plans and choices like whether you want a peaceful divorce or want to punish your spouse in court? If you choose the option of peaceful divorce, you’ll need to make sure you and your spouse take part in Orange County divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is a communicative, divorce resolution method which saves the spouses from the fatigue of fighting it out in court.

Think Before You Take An Action

How important are your children for you? Do you think they deserve the love of both parents? Can you see them get scared for life after seeing the battle between their parents? Children are an important asset in divorces. Thinking about all the pros and cons of both types of divorce mediation and divorce litigation methods will help you do what’s best in your and your family’s interest. Divorce litigation may allow you to have better chance to inflict a larger amount of pain on the other spouse, but if you are looking for a peaceful divorce, it is best to go with mediation.

Divorce mediation is all about couples and subjects such as children that are mutually important to both and can be dealt with flexibly, as opposed to what would happen in the process of litigation.

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

The Best Interest of the Child and Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThere are many reasons that make mediated divorce better than litigated divorce. One of the leading reasons is the fact that more often than not, divorce mediation has a number of ground rules set up between the spouses to help steer the process in the correct direction. These ground rules help the couples focus on the long term solutions instead of short term victories throughout the process. There can be a lot of ground rules, which may include having less amount of direct accusations, no use of foul language or derogatory remarks or maintaining the best interest of the child.

The Best Interest of the Child

This is one of the most commonly used phrases in the divorce world, especially in family law and child custody cases. Yet, do you know what this phrase really means? When you look at the legal side of things, this is a rather complex area of law, since it includes entitlements, parental rights, child visitation, custodial parent residency, etc. The family courts in California use the principle of child’s best interest in deciding a variety of cases and mediators also keep it at the top of their agenda in divorce mediations.

Yet before we talk about it more, let’s take a brief look at the standard of this best interest rule that needs to be considered before any decision is taken:

  • The type of contact that exists between the parents
  • Any history of child abuse either emotional, physical or mental
  • The levels of child safety, welfare and health
  • Any history of drug, alcohol or substance abuse by either parent
  • Criminal record of the parents

Mediated Divorce

While these legal definitions do form the basis of the concept, but it is important to realize that Orange County divorce mediators and spouses are not bounded by these legal definitions. For parents who take part in divorce mediations, the parents can look at the existing child-parent relation through the best interest canvas, but it is by no means mandatory.

In divorce and custody mediation, the standard of the child’s best interest is not only depends upon the legal considerations, it also includes ethical and moral considerations. More often than not, each child is different from the other; hence, divorce mediations allow the parents to mutually determine what’s best for the child considering his/her individual case.

According to recent studies on children, the child best flourishes in environments where their surroundings are peaceful and full of harmony. The key to harvesting the child’s best growth in addition to looking for his/her best interest is to have effective and frequent communications with them as well as keeping them away from the spousal bitterness of a divorce.

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

A Sneak Peak At California Divorce Law: What You Should Know!

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce Mediators Divorce in California can be one of the easiest and one of the hardest processes within the family law jurisdiction.  Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions with regards to California divorce law, so that you are able to know what you should about the rules that control in all counties of California, including an Orange County divorce case.

Q. I was married in a foreign country and now I am remarrying. Where do I have to do my divorce papers?

Getting a divorce in California is possible as long as you meet the residency requirements.  As long as you have lived in your county for three months and in California for six months prior to filing for divorce, you can apply for it.

Q. If I divorce my spouse and they get retirement from their job, am I entitled to half of it?

The answer to this question is dependent on the timing of the divorce and the retirement of the spouse. As long as the spouse earned all, most, or even some of the retirement pension during the time of the marriage, then you are entitled to some part of it. The percentage of amount you will get depends on the number of years he/she earned the retirement pension while being in a marriage with you.

For example, if the spouse worked for 15 years to earn the retirement benefits, and for all those 15 years they were married to you, you are likely entitled to one-half thereof.

Q. I own a property bought before my marriage, what is the status of that property at the time I get divorced?

Properties that are bought and owned by one or the other spouse before they enter wedlock are usually regarded as separate properties. However, it is important to note that your property will be regarded as a separate property only if no community funds were used to purchase it or any rights given over it to the spouse, such as by adding the other spouse to the title to the property. Separate properties are not counted as the divisible assets in a divorce and they will stay yours irrespective of the divorce results.  However, the other spouse might still have an interest in the property if the principal on the mortgage loan was paid down during the marriage.  These issues can be complex and it is advised that you speak with a qualified divorce attorney to understand your situation and your rights.

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

Don’t Let Your Divorce Take A Toll On You!

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhen marriages start to turn sour with a lack of love and trust, people start to feel trapped and suffocated. In such cases, people yearn to be free – free from the stress, the constant fighting, and the endless arguments. They want a better, more peaceful future for themselves without their spouses. This future is only available to them in the form of a divorce. Yet, more often than not, couples sweat over making their divorce decision because it is indeed one of the hardest decisions one has had to take in their lives.

While the importance of making the divorce decision correctly is undeniable, the heartbreak and the toll that it brings is certainly one of the hardest to deal with. Most spouses are left reeling by the prospect of breaking their wedding vows and failing the relation that they had pledged to have throughout their lives. The toll of a divorce can be an immense one and in order to deal with it, there are several tools that need to be used. Here is a list of people that you need around you to make sure you don’t let your divorce take a toll on you.

Your Family

There is a reason that families are the building blocks of society. Your family members are closest to you, because they hold the bond of blood and flesh with you that others don’t. Your family understands you the best and knows the likes and dislikes of the person. Divorce can be one of the hardest times for the person because of emotional and financial strains. Your family is the best suited to help you out in such testing times with emotional backing and even financial support. Your family loves you and they will make sure they do things even if they have to go out of their way to cheer you up and in testing times these people can prove to be your rock.

Your Friends

Who knows your deepest and darkest desires? Who helps you in your most testing times when you can’t approach your family? The answer is your friends.  Divorce is one of the hardest times for you with lots going on in your mind and very little people around that you can confide in. Your friends are your pillar of support that you are going to need throughout the distress and depression of leaving a relationship you valued. California divorce opted through Orange County divorce mediation is likely to have a few financial squabbles and your friends can help you get through the drama and the emotional trauma.

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

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.”

3 Gems to Keep With You in Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhen it comes to divorce mediation, it is bound to be a stressful time for the couples going through it. Apart from the couple, it is also a time of immense pressure on Orange County divorce mediators to make correct decisions, and guide the couple safely through the process. To make sure they perform at their highest at all times, most top divorce mediators have a set of rules that guide them through their work. When a client comes in for divorce mediation, mediators will make sure that the clients are made aware of the set of rules that mediators follow in order to assist them through the process.

Similar to divorce mediators, when it comes to clients and couples that are going through a divorce mediation, it is important for them to have a set of rules that they are willing to follow. Following these rules will be a boost for their mediation attempts to bear fruit. These rules can be termed as the three gems that all couples going into divorce mediation should keep with them. These rules are:

Stay honest At All times

Honesty is the key to your divorce mediation being successful. From the very start of your mediation process right up until the end, you will be needed to disclose tons of information to aid in the mediation process.  If you are unable to be honest, the result of the mediation will be based on false claims, which are highly unlikely to work. At the first day of your consultation, you’ll be asked about the goals that you expect to achieve with the mediation. It is important that you are honest and clear with your Orange County divorce mediator at this point because that is likely to set the tone for the whole session.

Don’t Take Your Emotions Into Your Mediation Sessions

Divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging experiences for a person. People going through a divorce are likely to be hurt, sad, and angry. While this is true, it is important to make sure that you keep these emotions under control when you are going through divorce mediation. In mediations, it is important that you talk your issues out with your other spouse and letting your emotions take the best of you will make your point of view weaker.

Fairness is the Name of the Game

The only way divorce mediation works is with both the parties playing fair. Fairness needs to be exhibited in your approach to the divorce mediation. Mediation depends on the cooperation between the two spouses, if you try and gain unfair advantages, the mediation process if unlikely to work. The key to a good mediation process is for both the spouses to be fair and just with each other and give themselves the best chance to work themselves out.

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.”