Kenneth H.J. Henjum Law Offices

Family and Bankruptcy Law


(805) 654-7032

All property must have a value placed on it to be divided. Many parties can agree to the value between themselves, but there are many assets that require professionals, for example your house, and retirement account. Click on the areas under Pensions, Retirement and Stock, Bonds, 401k to learn more.



The family-run business is a tricky situation. Who is going to run the business? What happens to the non-working spouse? Can you work together but not live together? These are some of the questions you must consider.

The Court will need a qualified person to appraise the business so it can be fairly divided.


Can you co-run the business? Can it be sold? Does one of you want to buy the out of the business? What are the assets of the business? What about the liabilities? Accounts receivables?

There are many questions that must be answered to decide what is best for your situation.

Contact my office to set up an appointment.

As part of the dissolution, the residence should be appraised so it can be fairly divided.  Many times the house was paid from one person’s paycheck, and that will have to be discussed.  The down payment for the house must be considered.  A loan from family members is another area of contention.  The issue of community property and separate property are at issue.
If you have a home at the time of a divorce, please contact our office so we can discuss the issue.

The pension plans and retirement plans are of great interest to divorcing couples. Now that we are living longer, those plans may be of great value in the future. The problem has been how do you divide an account that will not pay for several years? We use a professional actuarial to calculate the present value of the plan so we can fairly divide the amount between the parties.

The most common question is “Does the other person get half of my retirement? It will depend upon a few factors: When did you start your job? When did you get married? When did you get separated? The classic model is a person gets married and then starts their job. If they stay there the entire time during the marriage, then the account is 50/50. More modernly, a person may have started the job first, then gets married, so it is no longer 50/50. If you have another scenario, please contact my office so we can discuss this aspect of your case.

Professional Practices include Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, etc. If in private practice, the practice has a value and it would take an expert to determine a fair value for it. The working party at the practice will want to say it has no value without me. That may be true, but that will depend upon many factors that an expert will consider. Once the value is obtained, the parties can consider settling.
Please call for a free consultation.

Take inventory of the stocks, bonds, IRA’s and 401k accounts before you leave the house. We need to be able to identify the accounts so they can be divided. If we are left to subpoena the records, the costs go up and the time to complete the case is extended. California law will divide the accounts 50/50, but you have to identify them.

The money placed into those accounts along with the ups/downs of those accounts during marriage are divided 50/50.

Once you separate, or the “date of separation”, the contributions to your 401k, IRA are separate property additions. Call to discuss this issue.

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