Spouses Owe Each Other a Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary Duty

Spouses Owe Each Other a Fiduciary Duty

The divorce of Jintao and Li* demonstrates what happens when one spouse does not act in the best interest of the other spouse. The spouses in this case had a complicated divorce. They were first divorced in China. However, the decree from China did not address the division of all the assets, but it did divide several businesses. After the divorce, Jingtao encumbered several of Li’s assets without her knowledge by forging her signature on several documents. Then, he failed to repay the loans, and the lenders foreclosed on the properties. Li lost all of the properties because of Jingtao’s business decisions. The trial court in California found that Li had been damaged in the amount of $2,020,000 and ordered Jintao to pay her for her losses.

During marriage, each spouse owes the other spouse a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty requires a person to manage someone’s assets with good faith and in fair dealing. It is the obligation to act in the best interest of another person. If one party encumbers the parties’ community property without the other spouse’s knowledge, then the court can find that a breach of fiduciary duty has occurred. In the case of Jintao and Li, if Li had participated in the loans, then Jintao would not have been ordered to pay her $2,020,000, because she would have assumed the risk of the encumbrance.

If you need a divorce lawyer in the Orange County area to discuss a family law matter such as the breach of a fiduciary duty or any other dissolution issue such as spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, 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.

*The names of the individuals involved come from actual court records that are part of the public record and are not clients of Trevino Law.

If one spouse encumbers community property without the other spouse’s knowledge, a breach of fiduciary duty may be found by the court.

If one spouse encumbers community property without the other spouse’s knowledge, a breach of fiduciary duty may be found by the court.

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