Dividing Pension and Retirement Accounts in Divorce

Pension and retirement accounts (401K’s, IRA’s, etc.) are community property to the extent they were earned and/or contributions were made during marriage.  The community interest in these retirement accounts can be divided by either by a domestic relations order or by determining the pension value and equalizing the non-member spouse’s interest with other assets.  The […]

Overview on evaluating a small business

A small business interest is a typical asset to be dealt with in a dissolution (divorce) proceeding, particularly in medium- to high- income-bracket divorces. In almost every field of law, a person will encounter the “general law” on an issue or subject, and the general law is typically what a lay-person will learn via ordinary […]

BIG changes coming to California Family Law courts!

There are BIG changes coming to family law courtrooms that every litigant needs to be aware of.  And we all have Mr. Elkins to thank (tongue in cheek)… Taken directly from the published case of Elkins v. Superior Court (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1337, in which “Petitioner Jeffrey Elkins represented himself during a trial conducted in […]

State of the Economy and divorce

This recession is looming longer than predicted.  Its now “predicted” to last until at least 2012.  It is very common during this economic downturn to have issues of divorce include negative equity in homes, job losses, major losses to stock portfolios and deferred compensation accounts.  These are truly frightening times.  However, the economy has not […]

Domestic Partnership

In California, an alternative to marriage exists in the form of a Domestic Partnership. Only two classes of people can register as domestic partners: 1)  Those of the same sex that are at least 18 years of age; and 2)  Those of the opposite sex in which at least one partner is over age 62. […]

What is a Divorce Will and do I need one?

On occasion, a party to a divorce proceeding that is still pending will die by legitimate means.  When this occurs, it can amount to a windfall for the other spouse and it can leave children from previous marriages out in the cold and very disgruntled.  I recommend to people who are divorcing that they speak […]

Equal Dignity in the Eyes of the Law – divorce pertaining to a same-sex marriage in California

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held, in a slim 5-4 decision, that same-sex couples can marry in any state of the union and enjoy the same rights as any other heterosexual married couple.  Their reasoning is, in part, as follows: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals […]

How Do I Get Court Orders In California?

In order to get a court order in California that pertains to child custody, child visitation, support, or any other related issue, you must first give the state of California jurisdiction over the subject and over the people involved.  For purposes of family law matters, California obtains jurisdiction over the subject matter by having someone […]

Fiduciary Relationship During Marriage & Separation

In California, there are statutes (laws) that impose fiduciary duties on married people.  These fiduciary duties require married people to behave in certain ethical ways with regard to one another and these duties are in effect upon marriage and continue after separation and through to the time your divorce is final and, in some instances […]