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: Divorce Process


Should I Keep My Divorce a Secret at the Office?

When deciding whom you can talk to about your divorce, you should keep in mind what is in your best interest. Many people feel the need to talk about their divorce to friends, family members and even co-workers, because they don’t have their spouse to talk to and divorce is a very stressful experience. Read More>

What is Used as Evidence in a Divorce Trial?

Divorce trials are much like other trials. They involve witnesses, testimony, evidence and arguments. Evidence is gathered and exchanged during the process of discovery. Read More>

How Do I Serve My Spouse with Divorce Papers?

One of the most important parts of your divorce will be the service of the other party, your spouse, with the Summons and Petition for Dissolution. Service of your spouse, also called service of process, is an important step because from the date they are served, their deadline to respond starts counting down. Read More>

What Forms are Involved in the Initial Filing of a Divorce?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to do so. Ideally, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to get an idea of the road map of divorce in California and what your initial filings will be. Read More>

Can My Domestic Partner Ask for Spousal Support?

Some couples decide to enter into a domestic partnership instead of a same-sex marriage for personal reasons. However, in the eyes of California family law, a domestic partnership is a lot like a marriage. Read More>

Will a Criminal Past Affect My Divorce?

If you have a criminal past, you may be wondering how or if that will come into play in your family law matters. This depends on just what issues are at hand in your divorce. Read More>

Do I Have to Appear in Court for My Divorce?

California does not have any law requiring you to appear in court for your divorce. You have a few options for how to handle your divorce and some do not involve appearing in court at all. Read More>

Can I Travel During Divorce Litigation?

If your divorce is in litigation, you may have several hearings before your issues can be resolved. You are probably in disagreement with the other party over one or more issues and might be having your attorneys fighting for what you want in court, if you are not representing yourself. Read More>

What is a Court Issued Order?

In the world of divorce, much of what is finalized in the divorce goes into a court order. A court order is a document representing an order from the court to do something. Read More>

What is Divorce Settlement?

A divorce settlement occurs when the two parties come to agreement about all the divorce issues and numbers, schedules and divisions are “settled”, so to speak. Property division, spousal support, child support and the parenting plan and timesharing schedule all need to be agreed upon before a divorce can be finalized with the court. Read More>

Are Divorce Documents Public Record?

While your marriage is ending, you have to handle the business side of divorce, which involves dividing all community assets and debts, arranging for spousal support and scheduling your parental time with your child. These are all very personal aspects of a divorce. Unfortunately, under California law, most court records, even family law records, are a matter of public record. Read More>

Can I Do My Divorce Online?

The Internet has changed how we do many things, from shopping to dating to even divorce. Today, many aspects of a divorce can be done online and through various forms of electronic records filing and communication. Read More>

How are International Divorces Handled?

Many Californians have business or other interests that take them to other countries. However, if you or your spouse previously lived in California but one of you have maintained a California residency, you may still be able to file for divorce as any Californian resident would. Read More>

How is My Personal Information Protected in a Divorce?

While those working in the field of law are held to the highest standards of confidentiality, family law in particular, most divorce records are still publicly available. Ask your attorney what privacy practices they engage in. A reputable family law attorney will have a system of keeping track of and protecting client information. Read More>

What Does In Good Faith Mean?

As you talk to attorneys and read about the divorce process, you may come across the term “good faith”. Being in good faith basically means you are participating in or contributing to something honestly and fairly, adhering to the guidelines and expectations of that certain act or thing. Read More>

What is a Certified Family Law Specialist?

When you are looking for a good family law attorney, you may be surprised to find out just how many attorneys claim to practice family law and handle divorces. While it is true many practicing attorneys can handle a divorce, if their specialty is in another field, they may be no better prepared to handle a divorce than you are. Read More>

What is Collaborative Law?

When you think of divorce, you may think of nothing but conflict and contest. This is often the case, unfortunately, and is the main cause for divorces that drag on and on. Collaborative law is a legal process that seeks to avoid the authority, cost and conflict of the court system, saving the family from the stress of litigation. 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>

Can I Deduct Any of My Divorce Costs?

Divorces can be expensive and often bring about significant changes to your finances. If you are going through a divorce, you may be wondering if any of the costs associated with it, such as court and attorney fees, are tax deductible. In general, the IRS does not allow costs associated with a divorce to be deducted from your income. 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>

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