Fraud Blocker

California Family Code 1100

California Family Codes
California Family Code 1100

California Family Code 1100 Attorney

When you decide to commit yourself to someone else through marriage, there are many responsibilities you take on. You often make a promise to care for, support, and encourage your partner during your marriage, but there are some duties that also extend beyond the end of a marriage relationship.

One thing that you will be responsible for, even once you file for divorce, is fiduciary duty. You become a fiduciary to your spouse when you get married and share financial responsibilities. California Family Code 1100 outlines what the fiduciary duty shared by spouses is and how to avoid breaking it when you are dividing assets and property during the end of your marriage. An experienced property division attorney from Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, can help you understand your fiduciary duty and the relevant family code during your divorce.

What Is Fiduciary Duty?

When you are in a committed, legal marriage relationship with another person, you have a duty to treat them fairly and with integrity where your finances are concerned. You are expected to keep proper documentation of any assets or property you share, communicate clearly with them when any property is sold or gifted, and not take any actions that will intentionally harm them. This is considered your fiduciary duty and is in place both during and after your marriage.

Fiduciary Duty in a California Divorce

Many of the responsibilities you share during a marriage, such as paying bills and funding hobbies or activities, end when you file for divorce. That is not the case with your fiduciary duty. While your marriage may be ending, you will not be released from a fiduciary duty until all your property and assets have been divided equally.

This means that, during your divorce proceedings, you are required to be honest about any community assets you share, treat any financial dealings with your former spouse with integrity, and not do anything to intentionally harm the other party financially. If you breach your fiduciary duty during a divorce, you may face serious consequences.

Ways to Breach Fiduciary Duty in a Divorce

There are several ways that a fiduciary duty may be breached during a divorce, though it may not always be maliciously intended. Some of the most common ways to breach your fiduciary duty include:

  • Not disclosing information about community property. If you have a piece of property or an asset that was obtained during your marriage, it is considered community property. If you do not disclose that property, in an attempt to get a better outcome in the division of assets, you may be in breach of your fiduciary duty.
  • Selling community property during the divorce without consulting the other party. Any decisions about the sale of community property, such as a home or vehicle, must be made by both parties. If you sell an asset without approval or consultation, you may be found in breach of duty and face a penalty.
  • Poorly managing community property. You may make a deal or business decision regarding a piece of community property that fails and ultimately results in a financial loss. If the loss negatively impacts your former spouse, you could be found in breach of fiduciary duty.

Consequences of Breaching Fiduciary Duty During a Divorce

If you are found in breach of your fiduciary duty during a divorce, then you may face penalties from the court. These consequences may include:

  • Having to give up one or more of your separate assets to make up the loss to your former partner
  • Paying sanctions, or a monetary penalty, for breach of duty
  • Paying your former spouse half of the estimated value of the asset that you sold
  • Having to pay attorney fees for the other party to account for their financial loss.

Other consequences may be handed down, depending on the details of your case. An experienced property division attorney can help you understand your fiduciary duty and how to avoid breaking it.


Q: What Is the Fiduciary Duty of a Spouse in California?

A: When you enter into a marriage with another person in California, you have certain responsibilities to your spouse where finances are concerned. This includes how you treat them, how assets and property are divided, and ensuring that everything is handled fairly. These are called fiduciary duties and often include generally treating your spouse with high standards of fairness and honesty.

Q: What Are the Fiduciary Duties of a Divorce?

A: Fiduciary duties are financial obligations an individual has to another party that they are involved with. In a marriage, this is a fiduciary duty between spouses to treat all financial dealings with integrity and fairness. During a divorce, that means that both parties must disclose all community assets and property so that they can be divided equally and fairly.

Q: What Is the Burden of Proof for Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California?

A: If your spouse breaches their fiduciary duty during your divorce proceedings, it can present many challenges to finalizing a divorce agreement. They may have been embezzling money for a business you shared, not honestly disclosed the property and assets they hold, or sold community property without informing you. To prove this during a divorce, your burden of proof is to show that any losses you suffered were a direct result of your spouse’s breach of fiduciary duty.

Q: What Is a Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California?

A: One of the primary actions taken during a divorce in California is the division of community assets and property. A breach of fiduciary duty is when one spouse does something that has a major negative impact on the other spouse’s half of their shared property. If this is discovered and proved in court, then there may be a penalty, such as the guilty party having to give up assets that were previously separate property, to make up for the loss.

Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, Can Help You Understand Fiduciary Duty

The fiduciary duty that you have to a spouse carries far beyond the time that your marriage ends. You will not be entirely free of your duty until all your assets and property have been divided equally. Understanding what actions you can and cannot take to ensure that your fiduciary duty is not breached can be confusing, as there are many things that could be considered a breach of duty. The experienced family law team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, can help you navigate the division of assets safely and within your duty. Contact our office today with questions regarding your fiduciary duty.

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