Often, in a marriage one of the partners will assume the major responsibility for the couples’ finances. In a legal sense, this person becomes a fiduciary. A fiduciary is an individual is who must act for the benefit of another party and in whom the other party has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect their property and money.
A marriage is like a business partnership or fiduciary relationship which includes the concept of faith and trust and is generally established when one partner truly accepts the confidence given by the other partner. Casual respect for your spouse’s judgment or general trusting his or her character does not constitute the creation of a fiduciary relationship.
The responsibilities of a fiduciary include reasonable care of all assets the couple may have. The receiving spouse must benefit from all of the fiduciary’s actions. If the actions or omissions of the fiduciary spouse result in loss to the other’s community property interest, the fiduciary spouse may have breached the duty to the other spouse. As a result, the injured spouse has a claim against the offending spouse for the breach.
Breach of fiduciary duty is a serious offense. The injured spouse may be awarded compensation in the form of money or other assets the couple had. However, in some instances more harsh consequences may be enforced against the breaching spouse. For example, the injured spouse may be awarded a particular community asset in full as a result of the other spouse’s breach. In one instance, the injured spouse was awarded full possession of valuable real estate because the other spouse attempted to gain sole ownership of a property that was previously jointly owned by both parties.
The dissolution process is concluded by a judgment or agreement, which is legally binding. If the judgment or agreement may contains orders regarding child support and/or spousal support, the divorced parties are financially linked together until their children reach majority and/or spousal support is terminated. California courts hold that, upon judgment of dissolution or a final settlement agreement, the parties no longer owe each other continuing fiduciary duties. This means that former spouses are not automatically obligated to disclose any significant change in their financial situation to the other. Only after a request has been made must a former spouse disclose any change to his or her financial situation.
If you have a question regarding Family Law in California please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in California. After you have spoken with our California Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.