Fiduciary Duty In The Context Of Divorce

Spouses often fail to realize that they are under legal obligations to each other. In fact, California Family Code § 721 clearly spells out the fiduciary duties of spouses. Essentially, married couples are governed by the same type of rules that apply to business partners. If either party breaches his or her fiduciary duty, legal remedies are available.

At Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, we have extensive experience with high net worth divorces, including those that involve breach of fiduciary duty and other complex financial issues. From our headquarters in Menlo Park and San Ramon, our lawyers represent clients across the Bay Area and Northern California.

Many of our attorneys have been litigating disputes for over 20 years. In marital dissolution actions, our lawyers not only assist in ensuring that our clients fulfill their obligations, but they are able to litigate at the trial court level and appeal the enforcement of the opposing party's financial disclosure and fiduciary obligations.

What Counts As Breach Of Fiduciary Duty?

When it comes to spouses, California law states that "neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other." A breach of this duty may potentially consist of:

  • Hiding marital property from the other spouse
  • Failing to list the accurate value of a business or other assets
  • Mismanaging or wasting marital assets
  • Using marital money to pay off separate debts, instead of using separate assets for this purpose
  • Transmuting the character of property from community to separate in an attempt to reduce the amount the other spouse receives
  • Refusing to allow the other spouse access to financial records
  • Giving away or selling marital assets without the other spouse's permission

What Are The Legal Remedies Available?

If one spouse intentionally defrauds the other such as by hiding marital assets during the divorce process, the injured spouse may be entitled to 100 percent of those assets.

To learn more or to request a consultation with a lawyer at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, contact us today.