During a divorce, both parties are required to disclose all material facts about the parties’ community assets to each other. Failure to do so can result in a breach of the fiduciary duty. A breach of that duty may require the payment of sanctions by the offending spouse.
A recent example of this was the case of Francis and Erica. Although Francis identified all of the community assets, he failed to state that some of the financial property was held by third parties. Later the assets were tied up in the third parties’ bankruptcy resulting in a loss of the assets. The family court held that the failure to disclose that fact was material and a breach of Francis fiduciary duty to Erica. The court ordered Francis to pay Erica’s attorney’s fees and costs for his failure to disclose a material fact as well as some reimbursement for her interest. Family Code section 721(b) states that spouses are in a confidential relationship and owe each other a fiduciary duty.
FC 721(b): Except as provided in Sections 143, 144, 146, 16040, 16047, and 21385 of the Probate Code, in transactions between themselves, spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships that control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other. This confidential relationship 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 confidential relationship is a fiduciary relationship subject to the same rights and duties of nonmarital business partners, as provided in Sections 16403, 16404, and 16503 of the Corporations Code, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Providing each spouse access at all times to any books kept regarding a transaction for the purposes of inspection and copying.
(2) Rendering upon request, true and full information of all things affecting any transaction that 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 transactions.
(3) 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 that concerns the community property.
If you need a divorce lawyer in the Orange County area to discuss a family law matter such as location of assets or any other dissolution issue such as spousal support, child support, custody, transmutation or property division, contact Treviño Law, Inc. Conveniently located off of the 5 and 405 freeway at Lake Forest.
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for an Orange County divorce, it does not guarantee a result. There may be other circumstances that play a significant role in any dissolution which may alter the outcome of a divorce. A divorce lawyer will be knowledgeable about the significance of facts. Those factors should be reviewed and argued by a family law attorney in Orange County.
Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc, an Orange County family law firm.