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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Los Angeles Celebrity Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles Celebrity Divorce AttorneyThe world tends to take notice when celebrity couples get divorced. All of a sudden, you’re in the news because you’ve decided to take your lives in separate directions. Everyone wants to know why you’ve split up and who will “win” the divorce. This can make it difficult to keep intimate and personal aspects of your life private.

If you are a celebrity or high-net-worth individual looking to get divorced, you need to invest in a qualified and reputable Los Angeles divorce attorney. Your choice of attorney can help to make the process of getting divorced much more manageable. At Fernandez & Karney, our Los Angeles Certified Family Law specialists have over 50 years of combined legal experience. We regularly handle complex divorce cases, including those for high-net-worth and renowned clients. As your attorneys, our goals are to protect your privacy and achieve the results you want. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Identifying Property Ownership Rights in a Celebrity Divorce

California is a no-fault divorce state. This simply means that you can get divorced without blaming someone for the end of your marriage. It also means that things like infidelity won’t play a role in determining how property is allocated in the divorce. Each spouse is legally entitled to half of all community (marital) property.

When you get divorced, there are two classifications of property you’ll need to consider: community and separate. Community property is anything that is owned jointly by you and your spouse. This tends to include property, assets, and income that were obtained by either spouse after you were legally married. Separate property is anything that is owned by you, and you alone. This tends to include property that you owned individually prior to marriage. It can also include assets that you have taken legal steps to own outright without your spouse.

Celebrities tend to have quite a wealth of property and assets. It’s important to complete a thorough assessment of all property and debts that are owned by both spouses, individually and collectively. Identifying how property is classified (community or separate) is essential. Property division in a celebrity divorce will depend on these early classifications. Since each spouse shares an equal right to community property, there are often disputes about how certain assets are categorized.

The Importance of Assessing the Value of Assets and Debts

The first step is identifying all property (and debts) owned by you and your spouse. The next step is placing a monetary value on each individual asset and liability. Celebrities tend to have complex portfolios with assets that can be difficult to value. These may include:

  • Intellectual property
  • Residential real estate
  • Commercial real estate
  • Ownership interests in businesses and/or partnerships
  • Income from endorsements and appearances
  • Patents
  • Product lines
  • Royalties
  • Investments
  • Retirement plans and benefits
  • Stock options, and more.

Our attorneys have excellent relationships with the best financial experts and assessors in Los Angeles. We work closely with these individuals to make sure that all of your property is valued accurately.

Why is it important to assess the value of your property in a celebrity divorce? Both you and your spouse will be entitled to half of all community property. Some assets can be difficult to divide. There are other assets that you may be unwilling to give up in a divorce. In order to keep those assets, you must either:

  1. Assume debts and liabilities of equal value, or
  2. Agree to give your spouse ownership of other assets of equal value.

Knowing which assets are on the negotiating table and how much each is worth will make this process much more manageable.

Child Custody and Support Issues in Celebrity Divorce Cases

When parents decide to split their children will be caught in the middle. This is true for everyday couples as well as celebrity parents. However, most couples do not have to negotiate child custody and child support issues with the public watching. The pressure will be on to make a custody plan that serves the best interests of your children. Remember, your divorce cannot be finalized until you’ve hammered out the details of all legal matters involving your kids.

Celebrity custody battles can be challenging. This is particularly true if one or both parents travel frequently. Where should the kids live? Should the kids travel during their childhood, or are they best served by staying in a single location? How much time should each parent get to spend with the kids? How much financial support do celebrity kids need? These are all questions that celebrity parents must tackle during a divorce. Typically, custody arrangements must serve a child’s best interests. In most situations, this involves joint custody and keeping kids in frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

At Fernandez & Karney, our Los Angeles family law attorneys will fight to secure the best possible custody arrangement for you and your children. We’ll identify the custody arrangement that you believe is best and find a way to make it work. It’s important to understand that you may need to make some changes in your life if you want to be around your kids as much as possible. Custody is a process of give and take.  This may involve taking on projects closer to home or agreeing to travel with your child’s other parent after the divorce. It is important to keep in mind that your goal, regardless of your social or financial status, should be your child’s health, happiness, and well-being.

Keeping the Details of a Celebrity Divorce Private

Divorce is a very personal matter. You’ll be forced to comb through the most private aspects of your life and find common ground with a person with whom you no longer see eye-to-eye. The last thing you want is for the details of your private life to be on display. Our attorneys are committed to helping you navigate the process of divorce discreetly. There are certain tools and techniques that we can utilize to let you hammer out the details of your divorce in private.

Mediation

If you and your spouse are still on fairly good terms, mediation may be your best option. The process involves the assistance of a neutral third-party known as a mediator. The mediator does not make decisions for you but does help you work toward solutions. You sit down with the mediator and explain what you want to get out of the divorce. The mediator works with you, both individually and together, to identify big-picture issues and move toward mutually-agreeable decisions.

All negotiations in mediation are private. If the process is successful, the mediator will execute a contract reflecting the terms to which you have agreed. Once you sign, you’ll be bound to its terms.

Arbitration

Arbitration is essentially a small, private trial. You and your spouse (and your attorneys) argue your case in front of a neutral third-party known as an arbitrator. Unlike a mediator, the arbitrator has the power to make unilateral decisions about your future. They will listen to your arguments, analyze evidence, and hear any relevant testimony. Once you’ve stated your case, the arbitrator will make final decisions about the terms of your divorce.

All negotiations and outcomes of arbitration are private. Once the process concludes, you and your spouse will sign a private contract that binds you to its terms.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse to negotiate the terms of your divorce without going to court. You will both be represented by attorneys and must agree to commit to the process. This means that you cannot quit collaborative divorce halfway through and bring your grievances to court. If the process doesn’t work, you’ll be forced to hire new attorneys and start all over again.

During the process, you, your spouse, and your attorneys sit down and work to find mutually-agreeable resolutions to the terms of your divorce. Your attorneys lead negotiations by offering evidence, making claims, and even introducing witness testimony, when necessary. The goal is to hammer out the details of your divorce privately without having to go to court.

Again, all negotiations within collaborative divorce are private.

Sealing Court Records

When you choose to settle your divorce privately, it’s important to ask the court to seal any documents that may reflect your negotiations or outcomes. Our attorneys will work vigilantly to make sure that all aspects of your divorce are shielded from public view.

Call Our Los Angeles Celebrity Divorce Attorneys

At Fernandez & Karney, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience. We handle the most complex divorce and family law matters, including high-net-worth divorce, complex property division, child custody disputes, and more. If you are a celebrity who is thinking about getting a divorce, you need to hire an attorney you can trust. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you navigate your divorce quietly and discreetly.