Complex Divorce

We handle complex divorces, which can include numerous properties, multiple bank accounts, hidden assets, closely-held business entities, commingled assets, and previous legal agreements. From an impressive team of expert witnesses and consultants, we engage the appropriate expert to be ready to testify in complex cases. Our experts include forensic accountants, actuaries, appraisers and private investigators. Forensic accountants track bank accounts, investments, suspicious transfers, value businesses, verify the marital standard of living, and calculate gross income available for support. We engage experts to evaluate professional practices, locate and value assets, and determine the best course of action for our clients.

We look closely at intangible and tangible assets, such as fringe benefits and perks, military benefits, stock options, retirement benefits, liabilities, insurance coverage (e.g, health, life, automobile, home), and pension plans to ensure that community property is equally divided and that separate property is identified and retained. Our experts differentiate between separate assets, which existed before marriage, and community assets, which are accrued during the marriage. If necessary, businesses are valued to determine the community interest as well as the separate property interest.

Custody cases can be complicated by a variety of events. Issues such as special needs, domestic violence, child abuse, relocation, abduction, and move-aways often lead to custody disputes. For such matters, we seek orders from the Court to prevent or discourage the abduction of young children by showing the risk of abduction, obstacles to relocating the child, and the harm children will suffer if taken away from their home. On behalf of our clients we seek preventative measures such as supervised visits, surrendered passports, and restricted travel. Our experience includes the recovery of children in domestic and international abductions, including Hague Convention proceedings.

In child custody cases, the Court will listen to testimony that addresses what is in the child's best interest. Frequently, in move-away matters, the Court orders a child-custody evaluation. This allows the Court to receive expert testimony from a child psychologist. This formal report is usually based on psychological testing, interviews with the parties, interviews with the children involved, and relevant collateral witnesses (e.g., pediatricians, teachers, babysitters, and grandparents). We actively assist our clients during the child evaluation process to ensure that the appropriate information and witnesses are considered by the evaluator and the Court.

It is important to us that our clients receive fair results. Even in heavily disputed cases, we strive for settlement while preparing for trial. We employ a variety of proven methods, including mediation, collaborative law, and the engagement of "private judges" as settlement officers or for trial purposes.

So-called "private judges" are retired judicial officers who previously served as family law judges or commissioners. The California Code of Civil Procedure provides methods for such private judges to serve as the trial judge for a single issue or for all issues in a dissolution of marriage. Additionally, a retired judicial officer is often a highly effective mediator for voluntary or Court-ordered settlement discussions. When appropriate and cost-effective, we engage such private judges for the benefit of our clients.


No matter what your goals for your divorce case, our firm has the resources and experience to help you seek the best possible resolution. Contact our firm for an initial consultation about your legal issue.