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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Category Archives: Assets


Legal Protections for Growing Population of Cohabitating Couples

The American Dream is changing. Years ago, the American Dream looked something like this: go to school, get a job, fall in love, get married, buy a home, have children, retire. It was a common path and defined the lives 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>

Can We Divide our Assets However We Want?

During a divorce, much of what happens and decided upon is up to you, as long as you follow standard California family laws and your spouse is in agreement with you. For example, you can divide up your debts and assets according to your needs, as long as your spouse agrees to the division and the total net value of your marriage is equally distributed. Read More>

What is a Post-Nuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenups in that they seek to establish a clear idea of what each spouse has and what they should be entitled to should the couple choose to divorce. However, a postnuptial agreement, set in place after a couple marries, cannot protect your assets to the extent that a prenup can. Read More>

Will a Bonus be Considered Income?

Many financial aspects of your divorce will be determined based off of your income information. Generally, the court will consider any regularly occurring bonuses as income, subject to the child support guidelines just as wage earnings are. Read More>

Who Gets the Vehicles in a Divorce?

While you are dividing your community property in the divorce, you may have some questions when it comes to dividing the vehicles. Cars are a little different than other forms of property. If you both use your own separate cars, it may be as simple as you each taking the car you primarily use. Read More>

What Does Transmutation Mean in Property Division?

When a couple divorces, they must go about dividing the assets and debts accumulated over the course of the marriage. This can be one of the most difficult, time-consuming tasks in a divorce. California is a community property state meaning all marital property is equally owned by both spouses. Read More>

Will My Divorce Take Longer if I Have a High Net-Worth?

A divorce in California can take as little as six months to well over a year. California residents must wait six months, starting from the date of service upon your spouse, before the divorce can be finalized. There are many reasons why a divorce would take more than the six-month minimum waiting period. Read More>

How to Handle Separate Property During a Divorce

Separate property is property not subject to California’s community property rule in divorce. Property is considered separate when it is acquired prior to marriage, after separation, or acquired during the marriage through certain kinds of gifts or inheritances for one named spouse. How you handle your separate property during a divorce can affect how much of it you walk away with. Read More>

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?

Dealing with the dividing of family finances is often one of the most contested areas of a divorce. Couples with significant assets, an overall high net-worth or with issues of self-employment or business ownership may face more difficulties when approaching divorce financials than others. Read More>

How to Keep Separate Property Separate

Under California’s community property law, all property that belongs to the marital community must be divided equally upon separation or divorce. Community property is considered property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, but prior to separation, and with community resources. Property acquired prior to marriage is considered separate property. Keeping separate property apart from community property from the beginning of a marriage is the best way to ensure the property is not divided with the community property during a divorce. Read More>

How Will My Finances Change After a Divorce?

Everything changes after divorce, not least of which are your finances. Support orders, tax implications and a new living arrangement can mean you have to make a lot of changes in your spending habits. The biggest changes you can expect after divorce are either paying or receiving support and having a different asset profile. Read More>

How to Account for the Value of Appreciating Assets

While many assets can be readily appraised for an accurate value at the time of divorce, like real estate and bank accounts, other assets can be hard to accurately appraise, posing potential problems to an equitable property division. Read More>

How to Keep Your Assets Secure During Divorce

In a divorce, you may feel financially vulnerable. You worked hard for your financial well being and now you may have to fight to keep as much as you can. Read More>