Advice for Divorcing Parents – From a Child’s Perspective

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationDear Mom and Dad,

Please think of me when you think about getting a divorce. I love you loads but you must remember that I am going to get affected by your decision. I don’t know why both of you can’t get along, but now that you can’t and want to have a divorce, can you at least take a few steps that will help us. I just do not want our family to suffer during this time.

The points I want you to follow in your divorce are:

·         The Present is Important

Taking a leaf out of history will help you, but living in the past and continually dwelling on it is likely to give rise to nothing but hatred and enmity. When and if you keep concentrating on what happened in the past, you are likely to continue to fight with the other parent. The best way to avoid this is to focus on what is at hand, the present, and how you can maximize the situation to everyone’s advantage.

·         Look Ahead to the Future

A divorce can be a bit like the dark tunnel that one sometimes has to go through. There is very little known about how and what the future holds for you. The best way for you in this situation is to look ahead to the future and plan for it all the while the divorce proceedings are going on.

·         Put Yourself In My Shoes

The spouse that you want to leave is also my parent. I love both of you dearly and I want the same from both of you. I would like the love and care of both my parents in their own separate way of course, but I need to be loved by both. I want to spend some time with you and sometime with the other parent so that I don’t miss either one of you.

·         Don’t Criticize My Parent In Front Of Me…Please

You are the world to me, but so is my other parent. I don’t want to have to choose between the two of you and I respect and love both of you. It would be a great gesture from your side if you don’t hurl abuses at my parent in my presence. I know you might be upset, but they are good to me and I love them as much as I love you.

·         Choose a Peaceful Way to get Divorced

I don’t like courts…everybody seems to be arguing, fighting, it’s just too unsettling and uncomfortable. I don’t want to be in that environment. I want you to adopt a divorce method that involves you talking to each other and getting divorced. I have heard that’s called Orange County divorce mediation and I want you to use mediation to settle the divorce.

Love, Your Child

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

Legal Protection for Single Parents in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationThe most common cases in the Orange County family law courts tend to involve married couples, i.e. husband and wives. There are, however, times when a case is a little different and is likely to involve single parents. The way the law in Orange County operates with respect to single parents can be a bit different from the way it works when dealing with married couples. In most states, the rights of the single parents, especially of the father, are a bare minimum unless they decide to ask for them.

The basis of California law in terms of single parents is that a single parent, i.e. the father, needs to prove that he is the father, as opposed to the vice versa assumption in the couple’s cases. This article will highlight the key aspects of the California law with respect to single parents, thus highlighting the legal path they can adopt to seek legal protection and rights.

The Automatic Custody of the Child is with the Mother, Pending Establishment of Paternity

There is seldom a doubt regarding the identity of the child’s mother. This is because the mother is the one who gives birth and the hospital records etc. make it impossible to doubt that. In family law, a single parent mother will have what amounts to de facto physical and legal custody of the child from the day of the birth of the child, until the paternity is determined, i.e. that the father of the child is in fact the biological father, which is generally determined by genetic DNA testing.  What is important to understand is that when married couples have a child, there is a legal presumption that the husband and wife are the biological parents of the child.  When couples have a child but are not married, there is no legal presumption that the father is in fact the biological father of the child, and that can only be established by either genetic DNA testing or by stipulation of both parties that the father is in fact the biological father of the child.

The Father Must Prove He is the Father

Again, any child that is born out of wedlock means that the mother is the custodial parent, and the father has to take two major legal steps to have some degree of authority or control over his child’s life. The first step is that he needs to prove that he is the rightful father in terms of biology. The second aspect is to go to the court or an Orange County mediator to get custody or visitation of their child. Paternity can be proved by the father signing the acknowledgment form and the mother signing it too or by petitioning in the court and asking for a paternity test to settle the issue.

A Proven Father Generally Must Support The Child

Once the paternity is proven or acknowledged, the father now will have the same rights as a married father would have, but that also means that the father could be expected to pay child support depending on the income of the parties and percentage of custodial time that each party has as determined by the court.  These funds are going to be given to the mother and the amount can be decided mutually through Orange County divorce mediation or by Orange County family law proceedings.

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