Each spouse has a fiduciary duty to be honest about the assets involved in the divorce. Any time you hide property from your spouse in disclosures you risk the judge punishing your decision to hide the property by giving your interest in the property to your spouse. This result is mandated by California Family Code section 1101(h).
A fiduciary duty is the law’s way of requiring people who are in positions of trust to act honestly. The sanctions a court can impose for breach of fiduciary duty is the court’s way of ensuring that it is in your best interest to be honest.
California imposes a fiduciary duty on spouses by statute that lasts all throughout the marriage. The fiduciary duty doesn’t end on the date of separation. It continues until all the property from the marriage has been distributed. The duration of the fiduciary duty is set forth in California Family Code Section 1100(e).
This means that you are required to act fairly towards your spouse from the date either of you files for dissolution of marriage until you agree on a final distribution of assets. This is why it is always important to be truthful anytime you answer a request by your spouse for information about property, assets, or debts.
Being honest from the beginning can help settle a case early and save you money on attorneys fees and the headaches of dealing with a trial before a judge. If you want an attorney who will help you reach a compromise that is good for both parties, call San Diego Attorney Paul D. McGuire at the Law Office of Paul D. McGuire to schedule a free consultation