Profile

David A. Fink, Esq. brings over 35 years of experience to resolving family conflict. After practicing in a traditional litigation setting for over 20 years, Mr. Fink came to realize that many of his clients who settled their cases had superior outcomes and were more satisfied with those outcomes, than those clients who proceeded to a hearing or trial. Based on this experience, Mr. Fink transformed his practice in 2008 to focus exclusively on helping families resolve their disputes outside of court, using a non-adversarial, humane, holistic and creative problem-solving approach to conflict. Mr. Fink serves as a neutral in a variety of settings, including as a mediator, private judge, arbitrator, parenting coordinator, and referee.

Mr. Fink is a Certified Fellow and Past Chapter President (2008) of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and was a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Nachlis & Fink from 1995-2019. Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law since 1993, Mr. Fink served as Executive Committee Chair (1999-2000) of the State Bar’s Family Law Section and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2007. He has been selected by Law and Politics Magazine as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” since its inception in 2004, and was selected to the “Super Lawyers” Top 10 in 2006.

Mr. Fink has also been active in the Collaborative Process movement since 2001. He was a founding member of Collaborative Practice San Francisco (2001) and joined Collaborative Practice East Bay in 2005. He has previously served on the board of Collaborative Practice California from its inception in 2006 until 2015 and as Board President in 2012-2013.

Mr. Fink has presented educational programs extensively in the U.S. and abroad. He has trained and mentored many younger professionals to be both compassionate and effective dispute resolution professionals.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Character and Valuation of Property: hard to value businesses; allocation of equity compensation; division of illiquid investments; allocation of future tax liabilities; community interests in closely held family businesses; tracing for separate property reimbursement claims; equitable apportionment (Van Camp/Pereira/Moore-Marsden claims)
  • Child Custody and Visitation: relocation; international jurisdictional disputes; developmentally appropriate parenting plans; overseas travel or extended temporary relocation; substance abuse; incarcerated parent
  • Spousal and Child Support: establishment, modification, and enforcement of orders; international orders; chronic/terminal illness; generational wealth
  • Parenting Coordination: school choice; medical treatment; inter-cultural disputes; annual calendars; holidays and religious celebrations; refuse/resist dynamics; monitoring therapeutic intervention; two-tier parenting coordination model (with co-parent counselor/mediator); supervising/managing inter-parental communication
  • Pre- and Post-marital Agreements: unique arrangements; documenting or re-characterizing property transfers that were made before marriage or before written agreement in place; cultural differences; age differences; high-asset transfer on marriage
  • Multi-Jurisdictional Arrangements and Disputes (Property and Child Custody): between two U.S. states or between California and other countries.
  • Elder and Adult Children Disputes: new spouse Inheritance fears; financial support imbalances
  • Contested Separation Date: long gap (e.g., 10-14 years) in alleged separation dates; equivocal communication about separation
  • Reimbursements/Post-Separation Accounting: Watts charges; Epstein credits; Stallworth reconciliation

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee, and Private Judge, ADR Services, Inc., 2022-Present
  • Principal, Fink Family Law, 2019-Present
  • Partner, Nachlis & Fink, An Association of Attorneys, 1995-2019
  • Senior Associate, Schapiro-Thorn, Inc., 1989-1995

DISPUTE RESOLUTION EXPERIENCE

  • Judge Pro-Tempore appointed for the San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano County Superior Courts
  • Volunteer Settlement Officer for the San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Referee/Parenting Coordinator, appointed in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco Superior Courts
  • Attorney/Client Fee Arbitrator, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1981-2022

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Distinguished Service Award (the “Diane”), State Bar of California, Family Law Section, 2007
  • Eureka Award, Collaborative Practice California, 2007
  • Northern California “Super Lawyer”, 2005-Present; Top 100, 2005-2009; Top 10, 2006

BAR MEMBERSHIPS AND CERTIFICATIONS

  • State Bar of California, Admitted 1987
  • Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, since 1993
  • Certified Mediator, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2015 to present
  • Certified Arbitrator, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2008 to present
  • Certified Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2000-Present

EDUCATION

  • Juris Doctor with Highest Honors, Golden Gate University School of Law, 1987
  • Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1983

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter
    • Member, Board of Managers, 2004-2009
    • President, 2008
  • Collaborative Practice California
    • Member, Board of Directors, 2006-2015; 2018-2019
    • Board President, 2008
    • Collaborative Practice San Francisco (Past President and Founding Member)
    • Collaborative Practice East Bay
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
    • Member, Standards and Ethics Committee, 2014-Present
    • Member, Ethics Rewrite Task Force, 2014-2017
  • California Lawyers Association, Family Law Section:
    • Advisor, Executive Committee 2000-2007
    • Co-Chair, Council of State Bar Sections, State Bar of California, 2002-2003
    • Chair, Executive Committee, 1999-2000
    • Member, Executive Committee, 1996-2000
    • Chair, Standing Committee on Custody and Visitation (North), 1993
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Family Law Section:
    • Chair, Executive Committee, 1995
    • Member, Executive Committee, 1991-2004
  • Alameda County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS)
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • International Commission on Couple and Family Relations

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Mr. Fink has served as a lecturer or speaker on continuing legal education programs for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML); International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP); Collaborative Practice California (CPCal); Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC); Attorney’s Briefcase; Bar Association of San Francisco, Family Law Section; State Bar of California, Family Law Section; American Bar Association, Family Law Section; Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB); The Rutter Group; International Bar Association; Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (Pepperdine University); and Matthew Bender.

Representative Cases

Testimonials

“David is an expert, first and foremost. My ex-wife and I hired him to mediate the property-division aspect of our case. David was patient with us and guided us through the process with a steady-hand. I found his fees to be completely reasonable, and staff was very pleasant. Divorce is a difficult process. If you have to hire attorneys, mediators, etc., you want to hire not only a qualified expert but also someone who is a compassionate individual. David is a true pro and will make the process easier for you.”