The California Family Code enforces fiduciary duties on divorcing spouses. Anyone involved in a dissolution of marriage, legal separation or modification needs to familiarize themselves with these duties.
The fiduciary duties require disclosure of any facts which are material to the case. Spouses, even in divorce or legal separation, are “subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships which control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other,” which “imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other.” This duty does not end once the final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is filed with the court. Fiduciary duties between spouses can continue even after your divorce is final.
Family Code §721 (b) states that spouses are under fiduciary disclosure duties “including, but not limited, to the following:
- Providing each spouse access at all times to any books kept regarding a transaction for the purposes of inspection and copying.
- Rendering upon request, true and full information of all things affecting any transaction which concerns the community property. Nothing in this section is intended to impose a duty for either spouse to keep detailed books and records of community property transaction.
- Accounting to the spouse, and holding as a trustee, any benefit or profit derived from any transaction by one spouse without the consent of the other spouse which concern the community property.”
If you have questions about the fiduciary duties the State of California imposes on you, contact Mendes Weed, LLP and we will be happy to assist you.
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