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: Family Law Insights & Advice


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>

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 Have a New Partner Move in During a Divorce?

A general rule of thumb when deciding what changes to make during the divorce proceedings is to make sure whatever you do is in the best interest of your child, if you have minor children still at home. In general, it is advisable you wait until your child is comfortable with their new living arrangement before making such a significant change. Read More>

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>

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 is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, in California as well as elsewhere, affects many families. Domestic violence happens more than you would realize, in part because it is so hard to recognize. The traditional depiction of domestic violence is often a husband beating his wife. While this is indeed a common occurrence of domestic violence, the legal definition of domestic violence is much more broad. 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>

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>

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 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>

How Can a Premarital Agreement Help Me?

If you have significant or unique assets you would want to protect in the case of divorce, you could benefit from a premarital agreement. Read More>

Traits of a Superior Divorce Attorney

Traits of a Good Family Law Attorney Communication Skills: the act of transmitting a message accurately Courage: the ability to conquer fear or despair: bravery, valor Determination: the act of coming to a decision or conclusion. A fixing of the extent Read More>