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A Family Law Group That

Protects the future of your family.

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Matthew K. Skarin, Cfls, Cpa

In the state of California, there are over 170,000 practicing attorneys. Less than 1,500 of those attorneys are Certified Family Law Specialists. Of those Certified Family Law Specialists, only one is also an active Certified Public Accountant.

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The Skarin Law Group Advantage

Matthew Skarin is a Certified Family Law Specialist, a CPA and has his California Real Estate Broker License. Prior to law school, Mr. Skarin worked for the accounting firms of Deloitte & Touche and Miller and Co., doing both tax and compliance work.  Matthew uses his wide variety of legal and financial skills to effectively and artfully guide high net worth individuals, business owners, and investors through the process of dissolution. Through Matthew’s extensive experience he is able to discern the potential pitfalls to his client early in the case, allowing him the opportunity to communicate these issues to the client and take steps to minimize exposure.



Areas of Practice

Marital Dissolution/Legal Separation

Matthew Skarin has extensive experience providing divorce representation, and he protect his clients whether their divorce is simple and uncontested, or extremely contentious and acrimonious. Divorce cases often involve business valuations, division of pension plans and retirement funds, “hidden” assets, off-shore assets, and complicated income analyses. Skarin Law Group routinely manages complex divorce matters.

Child Custody & Visitation

In any divorce, legal separation, or paternity case where children are involved, the legal and physical custody of the children must be determined. Legal custody refers to which parent retains the right and responsibility to make educational, medical, and religious decisions with respect to the child’s upbringing. Physical custody refers to which parent the child actually lives with. The selection of and payment for extracurricular activities often becomes an issue for parents. Skarin Law Group regularly represents clients in connection with parenting and visitation schedules, post-judgment modifications of custody, selection of and payment for extracurricular activities and private schooling, and the issues that arise when one parent wants to relocate a child to another city, state, or country.

Post-Judgment Matters & Modification Proceedings

Unfortunately, the issues arising out of a divorce or paternity case are not always complete and finalized. New facts and circumstances can arise that give rise to a modification of Court Orders. For example, what was once ordered or agreed to with regard to child custody, visitation, child support, or spousal support may no longer be sufficient under the law. Before attempting to change a Court Order or agreement, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney to evaluate whether and what legal steps can be taken to maximize a potential outcome.

Paternity Matters

Establishing parentage involves the determination of a parent’s rights and responsibilities, which include whether a parent will obtain legal and/or physical custody of a child, the amount of child support, if the child can be relocated to another state or country, and whether the child can be claimed for tax purposes. Skarin Law Group has extensive experience representing clients involved in paternity disputes.

Child Support/Spousal Support

A determination of child support obligations for parents includes an analysis of two important issues: 1) each parent’s income; and 2) the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Matthew Skarin possesses significant knowledge and skills in the context of calculating child support, and he works with top professionals including accountants and tax experts, as needed.

The calculation of spousal support requires an analysis of many factors, including each spouse’s income and education, each spouse’s earning capacity, the duration of the marital relationship, and the lifestyle enjoyed by the spouses during their marital relationship. Skarin Law Group evaluates these and many other legal factors when determining spousal support. The extensive experience of Matthew Skarin and his collaboration with preeminent expert witnesses — including forensic accountants and vocational evaluators — results in favorable outcomes for his clients.

Premarital Agreements & Post-Marital Agreements

The proper drafting of a Prenuptial Agreement requires an analysis of many important facts and details. There is considerable risk that a Prenuptial Agreement might be invalid or unenforceable if it is not properly prepared. Some of the goals that a Prenuptial Agreement can potentially achieve include: maintaining separate property characterization of specific assets, altering characterization of joint assets, the liability of debts, joint use of property, shared use of funds or bank accounts, waiving spousal support upon separation or divorce, and maintaining or changing the obligations of the spouses that arose before their marriage. Matthew Skarin has drafted numerous Prenuptial Agreements for his clients, and he uses his knowledge and experiences to effectively advance the interests and goals of his clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In California, child support is calculated using a state-mandated formula that considers both parents' incomes, the percentage of time each parent spends with the child, and any tax liabilities or credits. The calculation also accounts for health insurance expenses, mandatory retirement contributions, and support for children from other relationships. This approach aims to balance the financial contributions of both parents fairly, so that the child's needs are met while considering the financial ability of each parent.
  • Property division during a divorce follows the community property law, which means that any assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered owned equally by both spouses and are divided equally in the divorce. Separate property, which includes assets owned before marriage or acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, generally remains with the original owner. The court aims to ensure a fair and equitable division of all marital assets and debts, taking into account factors such as the economic circumstances of each spouse.
  • Yes, spousal support can be modified after the divorce is final in California, but certain conditions must be met. Modifications are generally considered if there has been a significant change in circumstances for either party, such as a substantial change in income, unemployment, or a serious health issue. The party seeking the modification needs to file a motion with the court and provide evidence of the change in circumstances. The court will then review the case and decide whether an adjustment to the spousal support is justified.
  • Legal custody refers to a parent's right and responsibility to make significant decisions about a child's health, education, and welfare. This includes decisions about schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing. Physical custody, on the other hand, pertains to where the child lives and with whom. A parent with physical custody has the child living with them for most of the time, though this can be shared in a joint physical custody arrangement where the child spends significant time with both parents. Both types of custody can be awarded jointly or solely, depending on what the court deems is in the best interest of the child.
  • In California, a prenuptial agreement can include provisions for the division of property and assets, the rights and obligations of each spouse regarding property, management of household bills and expenses, and the distribution of property upon separation, divorce, or death. Spousal support terms can also be included but must not be unconscionable at the time of enforcement. However, a prenuptial agreement cannot include terms that affect child custody or child support decisions. These matters are determined by the court based on the child's best interests at the time of the divorce. Additionally, prenuptial agreements cannot contain clauses that promote divorce or violate public policy, such as penalties for gaining weight or stipulations on personal behavior.

The Skarin Law Group Difference

The Skarin Law Group outside of their office building in El Segundo, California

At Skarin Law Group, we combine deep legal expertise with a personal touch to guide you through life’s most challenging family law matters. Led by Matthew K. Skarin, the only Certified Family Law Specialist in California who is also a CPA, we offer a strategic advantage in family law disputes. We prioritize transparent communication and tailored strategies. Our goal is that you understand every step of your legal journey. We are committed to protecting your interests and fostering a future that supports your family’s well-being.

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