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W8 Versus W9: The Basics For Business

Some Americans might say that there has never been a better time for businesses to expand, thanks to technology and the free market.

There are several ways in which technology has spurred economic growth. The ease of access to the internet through computers and mobile phones means that there are countless ways to captivate the attention of consumers. Back in the day, advertisers mostly relied on physical media—newspapers, magazines, and billboards—or commercial slots on television. Some entrepreneurs would even orchestrate PR stunts just to get people talking. Today, advertising is calculated, algorithmic, and even discrete. Brands have integrated themselves into the lives of their target consumers, like partnering with a popular social influencer to launch their latest product to that influencer’s large and pre-existing following.

Businesses don’t just leverage technology to communicate with consumers. As the world hung in a global health limbo, the show had to go on. Stock prices of video conferencing software company Zoom skyrocketed. People started to question why they had been commuting to the office all this time. It wasn’t just about social distancing any more. People didn’t want to go back to the office even when health officials allowed society to reopen. Remote work gave people more autonomy, comfort, and free time than ever before.

“In 2023, there were an estimated 64 million people doing freelance work in the United States. This is an increase from 2014, when there were about 53 million people freelancing. The number of freelancers in the U.S. has been increasing since 2014.” — Number of freelance workers in the United States from 2014 to 2023, Statista

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Tax Perspectives On Hiring Remote Staff

Companies have transformed their hiring practices, discovering that, in a competitive world, hiring off-site or offshore can be advantageous for a variety of reasons. Hiring contractors or freelancers, rather than employees, can also lower a company ‘s administrative costs or allow them to access a more diverse talent pool.

For a company whose entire staff consists of employees, expanding through hiring domestic or foreign independent contractors can be an exciting new chapter. In hiring individuals or entities who are not company employees to perform work or services, it is paramount that all parties comply with laws.

Tax forms W8 or W9 must be submitted for Correct ReportingThe W8 and W9 are different tax forms that must be completed by individuals or businesses hired by United States companies. The W8 form certifies that the foreign individual or entity earns income from a U.S. source but does not hold U.S. tax residency. 

What if the contractor or contracted business has no ties to the United States? The contracted individual or entity must fill out a W8 form if they have earned income from a U.S. source. Correct filing of the W8 may also qualify a contractor to claim tax treaties between their country and the U.S.

A W9 form declares U.S. tax residency and provides information including their Taxpayer Identification Number and Social Security Number.

This article provides introductory information on W8 and W9 forms, but it does not replace personalized legal advice. Consult with a licensed tax lawyer attorney to ask questions about your specific case. You can call Hone Maxwell LLP today.

Hone Maxwell LLP

Is Legal Separation In California Right For You?

Even after a relationship has run its course, it’s not uncommon for people to hold on at all costs to avoid divorce. One reason is that many religions and cultures strongly disapprove of divorce, which weighs heavily on those who no longer wish to be husband and wife, yet feel pressured to remain together. Divorce can also mean the loss of many of the financial incentives for marriage, like tax and insurance benefits. Many couples may be out of love, yet stay together just to preserve their financial benefits. Additionally, many people may not feel emotionally prepared to be titled a “divorcee” and will delay the change until “the time is right”.

Divorce can be a complicated and nuanced life decision. When looking for alternatives to divorce, many couples turn to the three types of separation: trial separation, permanent separation, and legal separation.

Trial separations are an option for couples who are deciding whether or not they want to live apart long-term. Trial separations do not require formal proceedings and couples remain legally married, meaning they continue to share financial responsibilities and assets.

Permanent separation is when either spouse has decided against reconciliation. While not divorced, financial responsibilities are severed, which can make the exact date of permanent separation a highly contested topic during divorce proceedings.

Trial separation and permanent separation may not involve the courts, so long as both parties are in mutual agreement and awareness of the separation. If the couple chooses to legally separate, the exact starting date of the separation or the division of assets during that time may become formalized, with a judge overseeing the documentation and arrangement of the separation. Legal separation also helps to preserve some of the financial benefits that previously married couples may be accustomed to. 

If a couple decides that legal separation is best for them, it is highly recommended to seek out a family law mediator. A family law mediator facilitates discussions to help spouses transition through trial or permanent separation before deciding if they wish to proceed with legal separation or divorce.

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Couples who are legally separated are neither divorced nor married. This may be ideal for couples who do not want to label themselves divorcees for religious, cultural, or personal reasons. It is not uncommon for some couples to remain in legal separation for years before either proceeding to divorce or reconciliation. Legal separation offers a structured environment for addressing issues while living separately.

Whether couples choose to proceed with trial separation, permanent separation, legal separation, or even divorce, mediators like Colleen McNamee help the dissolution of a partnership be as peaceful and amicable as possible for all parties involved.

Read Ryan M.‘s review of McNamee Mediations on Yelp
Legal separation is an alternative worth considering for those who do not wish to continue their relationship as it was, but are not ready to divorce. Whether motivated by financial considerations, religious beliefs, or a desire for a trial period, legal separation provides a structured path forward, with an informed understanding of the best options for their needs and goals. 

If you think legal separation may be the right choice for you or are seeking a mediator in Orange County, California, you can call Colleen McNamee of McNamee Mediations today. 

McNamee Mediations
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660 

The Business Guardianship Of A Litigation Attorney

HBO’s well-loved series “Game of Thrones” unexpectedly shares many business insights. Creating a business is like constructing a fortress, surrounding an army for strength.

The stability of any structure or organization is only as robust as its weakest link. A castle’s stability lies in the integrity of its foundation, much like the crucial early stages of a business venture.

Considering legal counsel’s advice in the nascent stages is prudent. The modern business landscape brims with competition, enemies, deceptions, and unforeseen pitfalls.

Throughout history, kingdoms have risen and fallen. Even those equipped with dragons and Valerian steel have their weaknesses. Navigating treacherous terrains and emerging victoriously is crucial wisdom.

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Every house in the kingdom has its creed and banner, representing not just a name or sigil but a unifying history and a reputation demanding honor. An Intellectual Property Lawyer safeguards trademarks, copyrights, and legally owned intangible assets, preventing infringement and losses.

The “Hand of the King” is a strategist, analyst, and planner, akin to a Business Lawyer maneuvering through obstacles with the best course of action. In legal business disputes, a Business Attorney is a crucial ally, whether dealing with high-level matters or day-to-day affairs. While some businesses have in-house legal counsel, this may not be feasible for most businesses in the early stages of growth, or those who are small-scale.

The “Master of Coin” or military treasurer adeptly manages critical resources for victory. In the modern era, a Tax Attorney enhances your relationship with tax authorities, ensuring strategic compliance with laws and regulations while you focus on business management.

As shown in Westeros, war is both a battle of muscle and mind, a test of loyalty and human resources. An employment lawyer ensures contracts and arrangements are legally sound and ethically wholesome

For the small businesses and new ventures of Orange County, a specific law firm excelling in business, real estate, and wills and trusts is recommended. These specialties connect and relate to one another as they intricately shape your path and aftermath in building an empire.

Whether a high net worth individual or an aspiring entrepreneur staking their claim, the counsel of the finest advisers is imperative. A business attorney offering sound advice, and understanding the intricacies of operations and people, is critical for success and longevity.

The profound parallels between today’s business world and the medieval drama of “Game of Thrones” reveal countless lessons on the importance of teamwork. Embracing legal counsel in the early business stages, much like fortifying a castle, ensures resilience against the adversities of the competitive landscape. The kingdom relies on all moving parts, not one single member. Whether it is the wisdom of the “Hand of the King”, the Business Lawyer, or the resourcefulness of the Master of Coin, the Tax Attorney, all members of the suite need legal champions to secure a legacy that withstands the test of time.

To learn more about the guardianship of your business, give Burris Law a call today.

Burris Law
488 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866, United States

The Elon Musk California Exit Tax Dilemma

There are so many things to love about California! Unfortunately, taxes are not one of them.

The sunny state has seen a mass exodus of residents charging to states with lower state taxes, from income to sales to capital gains, and more.

The conversation around California’s taxes is not one without controversy. Public companies and figures like Tesla and Elon Musk moving to Texas express the sentiments of many high-net-worth individuals who appear to have decided what is and isn’t worth it to stay. But what could possibly lead to so many people giving up the joys of living in one of the most sought-after places in the world?

California is home to many wealthy individuals and headquarters to some of the most valuable companies. Many Americans are in favor of proposals to increase California’s income taxes to help fund essential public services and distribute resources to the less fortunate. 

The debate around taxes is a difficult, nuanced, and arguably subjective conversation. The role of taxes is one that is thought of as a mechanism for wealth distribution to promote equity and the well-being of taxes in society. Theoretically, the optimal tax rate will ensure the best outcome for each member of society. There is no shortage of scrutiny on wealth and what percentage of it is taxable. 

Sales tax, income tax, payroll taxes, and others may be imposed on former residents of California for an indefinite period of time based on several factors. The “California Exit Tax ” refers to taxes that former California residents are subjected to. Former residents may be continually subject to a “residency audit” by California’s Franchise Tax Board in determining and collecting income taxes.

California state tax is a deeply layered and intricate area of legal and accounting expertise that Hone Maxwell specializes in. Anyone who has had to pay taxes understands that there are consequences for paying the government less than what you owe. 

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It can be disheartening to move out of state in an attempt to earn a living or operate a business outside of California’s tax laws, only to be sent notices from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and Employment Development Department. Authorities may determine that you to still owe taxes to your former state of residence or operations, even after relocation

Tax authorities and auditors must be respected.

It is best to seek guidance from tax attorneys with expertise in the matters of income tax, payroll tax, and sales tax to resolve matters in your best lawful interests in compliance and with due diligence.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has expanded its pool of subjects of audits, which are extensive and complex procedures that may result in taxation adjustments. Furthermore, the tax implications of California can extend beyond the state itself. In fact, California’s tax laws can have international implications.

An attorney or team of legal counsel with expertise in state, federal, and international taxation will help businesses navigate audits and resolve disputes.

The Mental Health Impact of Infidelity

There have been plenty of people who have been blindsided by a breakup or divorce—but no one expects it to happen to them.

The painful truth is that your partner’s seemingly sudden desire to end your relationship was likely not a sudden decision. Their discontent had likely been brewing underneath the surface, and you only became aware of the truth when it could no longer be concealed. When a partner has committed romantic or financial infidelity, only to reveal their deception in the midst of ending your relationship, the separation is all the more painful.

Humans are cognitively wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It goes along with our natural tendencies to avoid the uncomfortable truth while distracting ourselves with ignorant bliss. 

It’s hard not to ask “why?” after you have been lied to or cheated on. While a reasonable question, the problem with that question is that the answers may not give you the peace you seek.

People lie and cheat in happy and loving relationships because they may need something or someone else to fulfill their needs. But those needs are often derived from personality traits and childhood trauma and have little to nothing to do with the relationship. People who have low self-esteem are likely to cheat because they crave the validation of secretly having multiple partners. 

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Infidelity has been shown to have negative mental health consequences, including posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, and anxiety. A scientific analysis “revealed that attributing causality and responsibility to the cheating partner was associated with greater infidelity-related stress.” The analysis also found that high self-esteem was linked to one’s ability to manage the stress of infidelity. “For those with high self-esteem, the effects of negative appraisals on infidelity-related stress, as well as infidelity-related stress on both depression and anxiety, were dampened.”

The root cause of infidelity’s emotional aftermath is complex, spanning social, cultural, and evolutionary reasons, such as seeing the infidelity as a violation in relationship ideals, feeling a sense of loss in time invested in the relationship, societal norms and sanctions, and evolutionary and reproductive costs (Gordon & Baucom, 1999; Shackelford et al., 2000) — Coping with infidelity: The moderating role of self-esteem, Rosie Shrout, Daniel J. Weigel

It is important to understand the mental health consequences of infidelity. Allow yourself to introspect and feel the betrayal, anger, and grief, but avoid the pitfall of blaming yourself entirely for your partner’s unfaithfulness.

Life does not end when a relationship ends. It may, however, mean the end of your marriage. And while divorce may be painful, the process of legal separation does not have to be, especially when facilitated by an expert Orange County Divorce Mediator. Mediation allows couples to divorce on their own mutual terms, which can often be less complicated, less expensive, and more efficient than what happens in divorce court proceedings. 

Read Eddie M.‘s review of McNamee Mediations on Yelp

Divorce is almost never a breeze, but mediation can feel like one in contrast to litigation. You can give McNamee Mediations a call today. 

McNamee Mediations
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660

The Need For Speed

The funny thing about fashion is how drastically tastes change from season to season in cycles that seem to repeat every decade or so.

From red carpet gowns to casual streetwear, designers pay careful attention to what celebrities and stylists seem to be drawn to, and from there, forecast trends for the upcoming season. The fashion industry has historically divided the year into four seasons, with each major designer or fashion brand launching one collection per season. 

The four seasons of fashion are Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter, Resort, and Pre-Fall. Spring/Summer lasts from January to June, Autumn/Winter lasts from July to December, and Pre-Fall is right in between. The Resort collection lasts from October to December. 

By the end of the season, what remains on racks and shelves will be reduced for sales to clear out that season’s inventory. Fashion lovers eagerly await end-of-season sales just as much as they await the newest releases for the next season.

“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” ― Anna Wintour

How Biker Shorts Became Fashionable

Fashion companies know that the average consumer wants the essence of high fashion but without the type of extravagance that would drain one’s wallet and garner confused glances from passersby.

Trends generally start on red carpets and runways before making their way into casual wear and office attire. Fashion retailer ZARA became a household name for quickly recreating affordable versions of the current season’s runway looks.

Zara, which has been credited as having the first successful fast fashion business model, has a design-to-retail style of about five weeks and introduces more than 20 different collections a year. Fast fashion, explained (Vox)

Zara is credited for creating a fashion business model in which profitability relies on speed more than quality or artistry. The goal of production isn’t necessarily longevity or tailoring—it’s to sell as much of what is currently trending the most. The clothes are not necessarily made to last—they’re made to be worn when a certain trend is at its most popular. The workmanship and prices reflect that the garment is meant to be worn for a short duration during which that style is on-trend, only to be easily discarded once the trend has run its course.

Most trends come and go, but some trends eventually become mainstream staples. The biker short seems to look good on everybody, and sustainable versions are offered at affordable prices. A black, cotton pair of biker shorts has proven itself in terms of both form and function.

Unfortunately, the need for speed can hijack what is most important. Biking is now more popular than ever—not just in fashion, but as a means of transportation.

Safety is more important than speed. Unfortunately, fatal motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere, any time. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident, it is best to consult with an Accident Law Firm to discuss the next steps.

Free Man Riding Motorcycle on Highway Stock Photo

San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorney C. Villasenor has helped victims in the area get the compensation they legally deserve. You can give Villasenor Law Offices a call today. 

When Friends Judge You And Your Relationship

Whether it was in high school, college, or adulthood, at some point, we have all had that friend who keeps being mistreated by the same person they love over and over again—yet never leaves. Or maybe, we’ve been that friend at one point.

Why We Judge Our Friends

It’s hard not to withhold judgment from a friend who makes questionable life decisions, especially when those decisions involve the people they are romantically involved with. The friendship can feel burdensome, with every conversation seeming to be about their relationship issues. You can’t help but wonder: “If the relationship is so bad, why doesn’t my friend just leave?”

We want the best for our friends; we want them to be loved as deeply by the people they choose to date and love. But it isn’t always up to us for our friends to have the confidence and self-worth they need in order to know that they deserve better than the person they’re struggling with. 

When a friend or family member is in love with someone who treats them poorly, they can be so infatuated that they become immersed in denial. They can’t let go of the relationship because they can’t come to terms with the fact that the love they have poured into their partner will never be fully reciprocated. 

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Are Your Friends Too Judgmental?

We tell our friends about our lives because we want to connect and bond over shared experiences. We also want advice when we have difficult questions about our own lives and are at a loss for answers.

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But what happens if our friends give us advice that is shrouded in judgment? 

“I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging—something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” — Brené Brown.

Divorce is no longer the taboo it once was, but some people still experience judgment from their friends and family for choosing to end their marriage. It doesn’t help that the complexities of the divorce process can strain relationships even among those outside of the marriage—friends, relatives, and children can often feel pressured to take sides. 

In Orange County, couples are seeking divorce mediation instead of litigation because it is usually more cost-effective and efficient. While divorce can pull people apart more than it brings people together, Colleen McNamee of McNamee Mediations is a certified divorce mediator who is so effective at facilitating communication between both parties that some of her clients have reconciled! Colleen McNamee is even known as the “divorce whisperer”.  

The goal of a divorce mediator is to help both parties settle on the best mutual outcome. Most importantly, a mediator is a neutral third party who won’t cast judgment and won’t take sides. You can give McNamee Mediations a call today.

McNamee Mediations
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Motorcycle Safety & Accident Prevention

With millions of motorcyclists in the United States, the motorcycle is one of America’s most beloved road vehicles. Read on for some of the most important motorcycle safety tips.

Check The Weather

Before you leave for your motorcycle ride, check the local weather to see if there will be any weather conditions that will make driving hazardous. Rain, ice, and snow will allow for less traction. If you have any doubt about your ability to safely navigate the weather conditions, it is best to stay at home or choose a different form of transportation. 

Wear Your Safety Gear 

A motorcyclist has little protection in the event of an accident. Unlike what you see in your favorite fast-paced action film, motorcycle riding isn’t glamorous. The purpose of motorcycle gear isn’t to look cool—although some gear will indeed look really cool. The purpose of motorcycle gear is to protect you from the weather and road debris and to act as a barrier between your skin and the road. In the event of an accident, gear can be the difference between life and death or debilitating injuries. Always wear a helmet that has been approved by the Department of Transportation and has a face shield. Replace your helmet every three to five years. It is highly recommended to wear your safety gear even on the hottest of days—that said, beware of overheating and dress in layers. 

Check Traffic On All Sides

Accidents are more likely to happen at intersections because of the higher density of people and vehicles at junctures. Always heed caution. Watch the actual cars as carefully as you watch the traffic light; even if you have the green light with right of way, some drivers may not notice you or give you right of way, leading to an accident. When in doubt, place your trust in your own observation. Use your signals and check your mirrors whenever making turns and changing lanes. 

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Exercise Caution During Difficult Road Conditions

Snow and rain will cause the roads to be wetter, which provides less traction than dry roads. It is best not to ride your motorcycle during snowing or rainy days, but if you must, be sure to wear a helmet with clear visors. If you are unable to navigate the road without a clear view ahead, pull over safely and take a break. Waterproof reflective gear is best to stay dry and visible on the road. Note that snow and rain make the roads less clear for all drivers, making motorcycle drivers especially vulnerable.

Hire A Personal Injury Attorney 

Motorcycle accidents can leave you with life-changing injuries and trauma, including spinal cord injuries, fractures, and paralysis. Victims may be left with lifelong emotional trauma and enormous healthcare expenses. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, hire personal injury lawyers to represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Villasenor Law Office is highly experienced in accident cases involving failure to yield, backing, sideswipes, and hit-and-run. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you can give them a call today.

Villasenor Law Offices
12396 World Trade Dr Suite 211, San Diego, CA 92128, United States

How Millennial and Gen Z Couples are Redefining Marriage and Divorce

Millennials and Gen Z are doing a lot of things differently from the generations before them. They have unique attitudes toward money, work, and relationships that manifest in different behaviors. Remarkably, they also have an approach to romantic relationships, marriage, and divorce that is unique from other generations.

Millennials and Gen Z on marriage

It has become apparent that many millennials are not committing to marriage until later in life, and most aren’t getting married at all. Baby boomers and other generations would engage earlier, but the millennials and Gen Z often do not see the need to legalize their relationships. They might start living together along with their partners but aren’t rushing to church. There are many reasons behind this trend. For instance, these generations are highly focused on their professional and career growth. They also want to find financial stability first. A lack of own housing, student loans, and trouble securing a well-paid job often keeps young adults more focused on the work aspects of their lives. A wedding might be seen as an occasion that needs a considerable amount of investment that isn’t worthwhile if they aren’t sure whether or not marriage would improve and worsen their financial situation.

The downward trend in marriage has resulted in a declining rate of divorce. Nonetheless, millennials also show varied behaviors on breaking up or getting divorced. For most people, a romantic relationship is perfect when it’s satisfying. For some, it might not be worth it to try and fix it. That suggests millennials might often be more willing to break up or divorce when they are not happy.

How does divorce impact children?

Children of separated or divorced parents can have behavioral issues. The marital conflict that accompanies a divorce can put the child’s social competence in danger. Moreover, parental conflicts impact a child’s behavior problems, irrespective of the parent’s marital status. During a divorce, conflict among parents is accompanied by less responsiveness, less affection, and or more inclination to punish children, leaving their child feeling emotionally unstable. Such children tend to perceive their home environment to be uncontrollable and unpredictable. It’s reported that separation and divorce correlate with lowered school performance and accomplishment. Children from families who are experiencing divorce may have more behavioral issues in school.

Family Inside the Tent

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

How child custody lawyers help families through divorce

When you hire the right Child Custody Lawyer for your family, the divorce process is made better and easier for everyone involved. An experienced family lawyer can help minimize the negative effects on your children’s well-being, preserving the hope of your children having promising futures ahead of them. Family law cases can be quite intense and emotional when it comes to custody. Shuff Family Law Firm takes care of each case in the way that makes the most sense for each client’s unique situation. Shuff Family Law gives clients the confidence that what the spouses are going through bears in mind the best interest of their children. You can give their offices a call today.

Shuff Law Firm, a Professional Law Corporation
2634, 2107 N Broadway STE 301, Santa Ana, CA 92706, United States

Mediation Can Ease The Stress of Divorce For Families

Divorce can happen for various reasons, most commonly of which are infidelity and financial stress. The American Psychological Association has reported on the relationship between stress and divorce. 

Various challenges arise when a family experiences a breakdown, due to the separation of the couple. Once a couple wishes to separate, certain issues may arise, such as custody and division of assets. The process of divorce can be extremely challenging, both physically as well as mentally. Despite all of its challenges, spouses must often maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of their children, even though they may be consumed by heartbreak and rage, harboring negative feelings towards their former spouse. Parents must control their negative feelings about their former spouse to provide their children with a safe space for their development and upbringing. Some parents seek counsel on maintaining a healthy post-divorce relationship for the psychological well-being of the child. Moreover, parents will try their best to put their differences aside, being respectful towards each other, so as to try not to interfere with the child’s relationship with the other parent.

Co-parenting after divorce

Co-parenting is the practice of collaboration and cooperation between divorced parents for the sake of the children’s well-being. In co-parenting, parties must be respectful towards one another and practice maturity and poise towards their former partner’s new partner. Parents need to support communication between their child and ex-spouse if ongoing access to both parents is what has been deemed to be in the best interest of the child. Parents should not speak negatively about the former spouse in the presence of the child, or pressure the children to pick sides. Children should be reassured that though their parents are no longer married or romantically involved, they still share a certain amount of love and respect for each other. Parents should be honest with each other and their children. Lastly, if equal custody arrangements have been made, both parents should actively participate in decision-making so that the child feels that they are part of the same family. 

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Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Mediation can ease the stress of divorce for both parents and children

Healthy interaction with your ex-spouse is very much needed for the well-being of the child. Mediation is very much helpful for separating spouses with children. Mediation is a process that involves a divorcing couple trying to negotiate in mutual agreement with the help of a neutral mediator. A simple search of “divorce mediator near me” can save you a great deal of time and energy. A certified divorce mediator will guide the separating couple and provide them with solutions. Planning out everything in the presence of the mediator is less stressful than courtroom scenes. Divorce mediation is all about cooperation to reach a common goal. 

Read Andrea P.‘s review of McNamee Mediations on Yelp

Meditation helps in keeping your children’s best interests in mind. It is best to reach a mutual agreement regarding the child’s custody in a manner that follows the best interests of the child. Unfortunately, this does not always happen in litigation, as fighting in the courtroom can lead to settlements that are ultimately decided upon by the judge. Traditional divorce litigation involves court proceedings such as testifying in front of the judge, which may be stressful for everyone involved. For couples with children seeking a divorce, divorce mediation may be the best way to reach swift agreements and custody arrangements.