Family Law Specialists

Steve Fernandez and Mark Karney are both Certified Family Law Specialists* with over 50 years of combined experience.

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Family Law Blog Posts

Read the latest blog posts from legal professionals regarding divorce, child custody and property division.

How to Get an Annulment in California

If you’re recently gotten married but are trying to find a way to have the marriage dissolved, you may be able to get an annulment. In California, married individuals can dissolve a marriage through a divorce or by petitioning for Read More>

Summary Dissolution: An Alternative to Divorce in California

In some situations, you may want to seek an alternative way to dissolve a marriage. Divorces are often viewed in a negative light, and couples who want to split amicably may benefit from seeking a summary dissolution. In some situations, Read More>

What To Include in a Prenuptial Agreement

When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shocked the world with news of their divorce enquiring minds seemed to want the inside scoop on one thing in particular – was there a prenup, and, if so, who gets what in the Read More>

Understanding Interim Orders In Divorce Cases

Shortly after the respondent receives formal notice of marriage dissolution proceedings through service of process, the judge normally holds a temporary hearing to make interim determinations about child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, and other matters. Needless to Read More>

Getting Things Started: Serving Divorce Papers in California

In just a few short years, social media has radically transformed the way we communicate with one another, so a New York judge may have sparked a national trend when he allowed a divorce petitioner to serve marriage dissolution papers Read More>

Modifying Family Law Orders In California

During their adult lifetimes, most people relocate about twelve times. Some people move to get away from family, be closer to friends, or to get a fresh start in life; many more people relocate because of a job change or Read More>

Agreed Property Divisions In Divorce Cases

With the Los Angeles Dodgers back in the National League Championship Series, the team is in the headlines because of its on-the-field performance. But a little over a year ago, the team was in the headlines because of what happened Read More>

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders

Domestic violence is an increasingly common issue here in California. Earlier this month, in California, Tom Sizemore, Darren Collison (an NBA player for the Sacramento Kings), and Campbell City Councilman Jeffrey Cristina, just to name a few, were all arrested Read More>

Does California Allow Common Law Marriages?

When people think of marriage, they think of a ceremony, usually in a church, where the couple formally pronounces their vows in front of their families, friends, and a member of the clergy. At the very least, it involves a Read More>

What Is the Difference Between a Domestic Partnership and a Same-Sex Marriage?

California provides same-sex couples with two legally recognized unions they can declare. Same-sex couples in California can now formalize their union by either getting married or entering into a registered domestic partnership. Read More>

How Do I Demonstrate Standard of Living in Litigation?

In California divorces, status quo is important. The status quo is the standing of living the two parties to the divorce enjoyed and had grown used to over the course of the marriage. Generally, family law courts will strive to maintain the marital standard of living when they are making a determination on spousal support. Read More>

How Soon Can I Get Spousal Support?

In many divorces, one spouse will need spousal support after the physical separation in order to meet costs. Temporary spousal support can be awarded to this spouse, to help them meet their living expenses while the divorce is worked out. Read More>

How Do I Respond to a Petition and Summons?

If you have been served with divorce papers, and choose to respond, you have 30 days from the date you were served in which to file a response. Read More>

Can I Buy My Teen a Car Without My Spouse’s Approval?

During a divorce, you and your spouse will be restricted in what financial actions you can take by a set of restraining orders. These restraining orders are automatic and temporary, included in the summons and effective with the filing and service of the initial divorce papers. Read More>

I Have Season Tickets; Are These Subject to Division?

California’s community property rule governs the division of debts and property in divorce. All property acquired during the course of the marriage is subject to 50/50 division upon divorce. Property is defined broadly; anything that holds value is property. Given the value of a set of season tickets, be it for a sports team or the opera, they are considered valuable property. Read More>

What Fees Are Involved in a Divorce?

Many people hold the opinion that divorce is expensive in every case. Some people may even be hesitant to file for divorce, for fear of the cost. There are several costs that can make a divorce expensive, however getting an idea of where all these costs come from can help you make an informed decision on how to go about getting a divorce. Read More>

What Is a Declaration?

There are many court documents, or pleadings, involved in a divorce case. Some of the most important pleadings in a divorce case are declarations. A declaration is a written statement submitted by a party who can speak to the facts and circumstances of the case. Read More>

Who Can I Have as an Expert Witness in My Divorce Case?

You may think of an expert witness as someone who provides illuminating facts in criminal cases. However, they can be extremely helpful in divorce cases as well. Expert witness statements can facilitate case decisions in the face of highly disputed issues and facts Read More>

What Are Final Divorce Papers?

A divorce judgment is the final decree, or court order, which outlines all the agreements and decisions made in the divorce and refers to the corresponding attachments. Which attachments are required will vary depending on the specifics and jurisdiction of your case. Read More>

I’ve Just Been Served; What is a Summons?

The two initial divorce papers you will be served with are the Summons and the Petition for Dissolution. The Summons is a document that officially notifies a party to a case that he or she has been sued. Read More>

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