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Dealing with Retirement Funds during Divorce

You may be wondering how your retirement nest egg will be affected during your divorce settlement. Some mistakenly believe these funds are completely off-limits from the other spouse. However, generally that’s not the case. Any money in an IRA, 401K or pension is fair game in a divorce settlement.

Retirement funds are one of the most complex divorce issues to sort out. There are many moving parts to consider when splitting retirement. Such factors will determine how much a spouse will receive from your retirement plan. Certain issues must be determined while working out how to split these assets, including:

  • Does the other spouse have retirement savings?
  • What type of retirement fund is it– IRA, 401K or pension?
  • What is the current age of the spouse?
  • Was the retirement fund started before the marriage began?
  • How many more years will the spouse with the retirement fund continue to work?

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO (pronounced “quadro”), is a legal order by a judge that determines how assets will be split. A QDRO is used for alimony, child support and other divorce issues, not just retirement. A spouse must have a separate qualified domestic relations order for each separate retirement account.

“A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO (pronounced “quadro”), is a legal order by a judge that determines how assets will be split. “

For a 401K account, your legal representation may need to consult the plan administrator before drawing up a QDRO on your behalf. If your QDRO does not comply with the plan regulations it could extend the length of time it takes to settle your divorce. However, an IRA does not require a QDRO. In some cases a QDRO can prevent taxes from being levied on withdrawn 401K funds, but there are many factors that must be considered before determining if this is possible. If 401K money is withdrawn before the other spouse is 59.5 years old, there are generally penalties unless the money is rolled into another 401k account.

“Retirement funds are one of the most complex divorce issues to sort out.

Splitting retirement during divorce should be handled under the guidance of an experienced attorney. Don’t risk losing your entire retirement savings! Get a lawyer on your side who will advocate for your interests by contacting Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates today.

Why Should You Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, you always want to make sure to choose the right lawyer. When you file for bankruptcy, it can bring you a huge sense of relief, especially when you are under a debt. Once your case is over, you can get back to your everyday life, debt-free. Sometimes, it is a necessary solution to your problem and is a must that you fully understand the process. And we are here to walk you through it. The bankruptcy forms are daunting enough as they are. Read on and find the many ways an attorney can help!

Complete and Schedule Paperwork

When you begin the paperwork you will have to file pages of financial data. The data will cover debts, income, expenses, assets, and financial transactions. When you hire the right attorney, they will know exactly what you have to disclose and how to value your assets.

Accurate and Complete Testimony

When you file for bankruptcy, you are going to need to sign the paperwork and tell the court, under penalty of perjury, that the information you provided is correct to the best of your knowledge. Your attorney can be there with you through that process to ensure your testimony is complete.

Negotiate With Your Creditors

Throughout the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, your attorney has the ability to negotiate your reaffirmation agreement and can help you to keep your home or car. If you are going through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then your attorney can negotiate on payment terms. Not only that, but they can also negotiate on the value of collateral and interest rates in order to offer you an affordable payment plan.

Peace of Mind

When you leave the case in the expert hands of the right attorney, you can experience a stress-free process knowing that everything is on track. An attorney can provide you with the information to proceed through the case and inform you of the status every step of the way.

All in all, choosing an attorney you can count on is a must. That’s where we can help. Here at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, we have years of hands-on experience and are here to get you through the confusing legal process of bankruptcy.

Child Custody and Visitation Laws in California

Whether you have been divorced or separated from your partner, child custody can become a pressing issue. The responsibilities and rights parents have over their children must be negotiated, in or out of court. These cases tend to make it into the courts because of the importance people place on their children, and the tense emotions involved. To learn about the specifics of California child custody and visitation laws, continue reading our blog post.

Types of Custody

There are two difference types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the parent who makes significant choices for their children, in regards to medical, education, travel, or overall welfare. Typically, legal custody is either shared between both parents or given to simply one. The second type, physical custody, refers to the parent(s) your children live with. Typically, the parents decide on joint physical custody or one might request primary responsibilities, which means the other parent has only visitation rights. It is difficult for a child to spend half their time with one parent and half with another, so the time is usually imbalanced.

Judge’s Priorities

Parental custody is decided based on what the judge believes is in the child’s best interests. When deciding on custody, courts will look at the child’s age, health, bonds with their parents and communities, their parents’ ability to care for them, and family history of violence or drug use. Child support is also determined based on the amount of time the children are with each parent. When a court believes both parents are unable to care for their children, they will look into guardianship so the child lives safely.

How to Get a Court Order

The majority of parents can come to an agreement without needing a court order, but if either parent isn’t holding up their end of the deal, the court can enforce a court order. The court can only enforce an agreement if they have a signed court order. The agreement’s terms can be enforced if you turn in a copy to the judge. The judge can sign the deal if both parties agree. If consensus cannot be reached, a judge will send both parents to a mediator, and if this still doesn’t work, the judge will decide the custody and visitation times on their own. A judge can also appoint a custody evaluator to make a recommendation based on their professional opinions.


Establishing a child custody deal can be overwhelming, but with this information, you have a guide of what to expect every step of the way. To get in contact with a professional child custody attorney, make sure you hire us at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, where we are dedicated to excellence.

Power of Attorney: What They Can and Can’t Do

As we get older, it is important to determine who you trust to handle your medical decisions should you be unable to. A power of attorney document is where you grant a trusted individual with the authority to handle any or all of your financial and legal needs if you’re incapable of doing so yourself. Working with a reputable lawyer to draft a durable power of attorney will allow you to choose who you trust for your needs. Keep reading to learn more about how a power of attorney can help you in the future.

Legal document with Power Of Attorney printed at the top.
Legal document with Power Of Attorney printed at the top.

Types of POA

Once you understand what a power of attorney is, it’s important to understand the differences between the two types of POA documents. This will help you interpret whether you could benefit from a medical POA, financial POA or both. POA documents offer different levels of protection:

Medical POA: This POA gives a trustworthy family member or friend the ability to make medical decisions when you’re unable to or incapacitated.

Financial POA: In a similar way to a medical or healthcare POA, a loved one can be placed in charge of financial decisions when you yourself can’t make them.

What Can a POA Do?

Whether you go for a medical or financial POA, the scope of what your chosen agent can do will be as narrow or broad as is permitted in the document. These are some of the decisions your chosen agent can make for your healthcare and financial needs.

Medical: What medical care you receive.

       Which doctors you use.

       Where you live or what you eat.

-Financial: Access your financial accounts to pay for treatments and healthcare.

        Make investment decisions and file taxes on your behalf.

        Manage your property.

Lawyer sitting at a desk with a gavel and scales in the foreground.
Lawyer sitting at a desk with a gavel and scales in the foreground.

What Can’t a POA Do?

While there is a range of decisions your chosen agent can make under the POA document, there are also limitations to what powers the document grants them. For instance, your agent will not be able to change your will or make decisions once you pass away. Along with these examples, your chosen POA agent cannot transfer power of attorney to someone else either.

Thoughts No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to choose who you want as your power of attorney agent. When you’re ready to draft the documents, call on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates to ensure they’re written correctly.

Documents You Need for a Divorce

The paperwork and documents for a divorce are different from state to state, although many requirements are similar. Settlement agreements and financial disclosure forms are just some of the documents you will need to fill out with your divorce attorney. In this blog, we’ll discuss the basic paperwork needed to legally settle a divorce.

Dissolution-of-Marriage Form

Every state requires at least one spouse to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in the local county court. With this document, a spouse must submit it to the court as a formal request. It must then be served to the other spouse, thus beginning the divorce process. The petition includes information about the reason for divorce, contact information for both spouses, and the terms the petitioning spouse is asking for, such as requests for alimony or child support.

Settlement Agreement

Once both spouses have agreed to the terms of the divorce, a settlement agreement will be drawn up. The settlement agreement is a document setting out the terms of the divorce settlement. For example, it may explain child custody agreements and division of property. The agreement can be written after negotiations (if contested) or after the petition is filed (if uncontested).

Financial Disclosure Documents

Both spouses in a divorce must submit documents setting out their finances. Financial disclosure forms may include copies of tax returns for the previous three to five years. In addition, a financial affidavit (which is a legal document sworn under a public notary or authorized officer) may be required to show proof of income and expenses, including information on debts, bank accounts, and property.


Divorce can be complicated. From legal petitions to financial disclosures, both parties may be overwhelmed with the piling paperwork. Consider a trusted family law attorney to move along the divorce process; contact the law firm at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. Visit our website to set up a consultation today!

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