California Family Code 721

California Family Code 721

California Family Code 721 Attorney

Marriage is not only the formalization of a committed relationship, but it is also a binding legal contract between the marrying spouses that entails various terms and conditions. California Family Code 721 is an important Code section that applies to the financial responsibilities marriage entails. If you are recently married in California, it is important to understand how California Family Code 721 applies to you and your spouse’s financial transactions.

California Family Code 721

Understanding California Family Code 721

A marriage is a formal legal contract, and the family laws of California set forth the rights and responsibilities every married spouse has to their partner. California Family Code 720 establishes the responsibilities of honesty, fidelity, and mutual respect required in marriage, and California Family Code 721 expands on this to include financial matters. There is an expectation for married spouses to work as business partners when it comes to important financial decisions.

Under this Code section, married spouses are not only required to consult with one another regarding significant financial transactions but they are also prohibited from making important financial decisions without their spouse’s consent or knowledge. This Code section aims to prevent married spouses from taking financial advantage of one another and to ensure that financial disclosures in divorce are complete and truthful.

Marriage is a formal and confidential relationship that imposes the same fiduciary duties upon the married spouses that nonmarital business partners typically have. Each spouse must provide access to their financial records for the purpose of inspection or copying, and they are also required to provide full and true information about anything that concerns the couple’s community property. There is no strict requirement for them to keep books, however.

California Family Code 721 also prevents a married spouse from hiding the proceeds or profits from any transaction that would qualify as community property. They are also prohibited from maintaining secret accounts. While it is possible for a violation of California Family Code 721 to cause problems within a marriage, violations of this Code section are most often brought to light in divorce proceedings.

Financial Requirements of Divorce

When a married couple decides to divorce in California, one of the most contentious aspects of their divorce case is likely to be property division. California law upholds the community property rule, so all property deemed marital property is subject to strict 50/50 division in divorce. Both divorcing spouses will be required to submit financial disclosure statements to the court as part of their divorce proceedings.

If you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets that they have intentionally failed to disclose in this process, you may discover that they have violated California Family Code 721. When a family court judge discovers that a divorcing spouse has lied in their financial disclosure or otherwise breached their fiduciary duty to their spouse, the spouse in violation could face contempt of court and various additional penalties.

An experienced family law attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side for your impending divorce, especially if you have any concerns that your soon-to-be ex-spouse has violated California Family Code 721. Your attorney can help address any such issues and guide you through your divorce proceedings, ensuring you receive a fair outcome from the property division process.


Q: What Is California Family Code 721?

A: California Family Code 721 pertains to the fiduciary duties married spouses have to one another. This Code section enables either spouse to engage in financial transactions with one another or with any other parents that they would be able to conduct if they were unmarried. Code section 720 sets forth the requirements of respect, fidelity, and support in a marriage, and California Family Code 721 expands on this to apply to fiduciary duties in a marriage.

Q: Why Is California Family Code 721 Important?

A: California Family Code 721 is important in two major ways. First, it enables either spouse to engage in financial transactions as if they were unmarried, meaning their marriage does not prevent them from pursuing financial opportunities. Second, it ensures the highest levels of good faith and fair dealing, establishing a fiduciary duty between the spouses that neither may ignore or violate. California Family Code 721 violations can lead to severe penalties.

Q: What Is a Fiduciary Duty?

A: A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation pertaining to a financial transaction. When it comes to California Family Code 721, this Code section aims to prevent married spouses from taking advantage of one another. They are required to apprise each other of their financial matters, keep records, and provide access to those records as necessary. Essentially, married spouses have the same fiduciary duties to one another as business partners.

Q: What Is Financial Disclosure in Divorce?

A: The financial disclosure process in divorce is the formal process of the divorcing spouses submitting their financial records to the court for the purposes of property division. Under California’s community property law, divorcing spouses must split their marital property evenly, with each spouse receiving an entirely equal share. Attempting to hide assets or keeping hidden records would violate California Family Code 721 and possibly result in contempt of court.

Q: What Are Common Violations of California Family Code 721?

A: Common violations of California Family Code 721 include keeping secret financial records from a spouse, engaging in a financial transaction without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent, or knowingly taking financial advantage of a spouse. If you suspect that your spouse has violated California Family Code 721, it is vital that you consult an experienced family law attorney as quickly as possible.

The attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, have extensive experience handling family law matters for clients throughout California, and we know that California Family Code 721 can be confusing. Whatever your situation may entail, our firm is confident that we can address your current problem and provide valuable guidance that helps you better understand your options. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help resolve your case.

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