Whether the issues are simple or complex, we excel at providing you the best and most efficient outcome. We handle all core family law issues; on a select basis, we prepare or consult on pre-marital and post-marital agreements. In addition, we are uniquely qualified to handle complex family law issues, including sophisticated business interests such as venture capital, startups, private equity, and intricate real estate structures. We also manage cutting-edge legal issues, such as reproductive rights.
Jennifer Crum, Partner
Today’s family law cases, especially the more complex ones, often require expertise across multiple disciplines. We routinely work with forensic accountants, tax experts, investment advisors, corporate counsel, estate planners, attorneys in different practice areas, custody experts, and other specialists to achieve the best outcome for our clients. Not all cases require outside experts, but adding that expertise to your team can be highly effective in finding the best solution. The following are a few examples of the team-driven approach we use when appropriate.
We understand your children are your highest priority. We develop a strategy that focuses on your children’s best interests and we guide our clients through mediation and co-parent counseling to develop an age-appropriate parenting schedule. When necessary, we represent clients through custody evaluations, contested custody hearings, and trials.
Many cases require the assistance of a specialized accountant familiar with family law issues. We frequently use forensic accountants to trace separate property assets, analyze the marital standard of living, prepare post-separation accountings, determine income available for child and spousal support, value businesses, analyze and quantify the community and separate property interests in an asset, and determine reimbursement claims.
Investment advisors can provide practical guidance on your balance sheet and help structure settlements by forecasting your post-divorce financial future. We routinely work with a client’s existing financial team, but we can help identify new advisors if appropriate.
Tax experts can be a vital part of your team. Understanding and maximizing the tax implications of a financial deal is often the key to creating added value to a settlement.
Some cases require the expertise of outside legal advice. For example, we work with corporate counsel to advise on complex business structures, to create new entities in order to facilitate dividing these business structures upon divorce, or to obtain security for our client’s interests as part of the overall settlement.
Divorce is a major life transition that requires re-evaluation of one’s estate plan. We work with outside estate planners to understand your existing estate plan to clarify how divorce impacts those plans, to prepare interim estate plans, and to provide post-divorce estate planning.
Our expertise extends beyond the fundamentals of family law. We are located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and regularly represent clients with issues relating to startups, venture capital, hedge funds, private equity, real estate interests, professional practices, privately held businesses, and other related or unique issues. We understand the intricacies of various types of compensation, and understand both sides of the case, whether you are the owner/investor/employee or spouse.
In Silicon Valley, a key issue is the equity interests in privately held or publicly traded companies and the associated vesting schedules. We are experienced in representing founders and employees of startups. We are equally knowledgeable in allocating various types of equity ownership, including stock options, Restricted Stock Units (“RSUs”), and restricted stock. We also understand how equity compensation impacts child and spousal support.
We have handled divorces involving many of the major venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. We understand issues relating to fund formation, vesting, management fees, and carried interests and how to allocate these interests between spouses.