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What Is Breach of Fiduciary Duty in a Divorce?

Once divorce papers are filed, you might think that you do not owe your spouse anything more. However, you have a duty to preserve community assets until the final property division. Divorce can get complex. Our lawyers have extensive experience in complex divorce cases. They will inform you of what your fiduciary duties are and will provide legal assistance if you think your spouse may have breached his or her duty.

But what exactly are fiduciary duties? A fiduciary is generally responsible for managing the finances or assets of another person. Basically, having fiduciary duties means you are ethically bound to act in another person’s best interests.

The Duty to Preserve Community Property

According to the law, until property division is finalized in a divorce or legal separation proceedings all property is still considered to be community property. Community property can include:

  • Homes and other real estate
  • Stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Retirement funds and pension plans
  • Businesses
  • Fine art, vehicles, and other tangible goods

Each spouse owes the other the duty not to dispose of any community property. One of the biggest issues is the duty to disclose all assets and liabilities, regardless of whether you consider it to be separate property. You must also notify your spouse of any material changes to the property, including any job promotions or bonuses you receive. 

What Happens If You Breach Your Fiduciary Duty?

The consequences of breaching your fiduciary duties can be severe. The courts are not shy about handing down significant sanctions, including sanctions for bad faith and refusal to sign a divorce decree. The lawyers at our Beverly Hills divorce law firm can help you get a full accounting of your assets. We can also work with forensic accountants to ensure that your spouse is not concealing or disposing of assets. When significant assets are at stake, you need a law firm that has extensive experience handling high-asset divorce cases.

Call for an Initial Consultation With a Los Angeles Area Divorce Lawyer

If you are facing a divorce, make sure you protect yourself and follow your fiduciary duties. If you want to know more about the duties you owe your spouse during a divorce or are concerned that a spouse is hiding assets, we can help. Contact our California divorce lawyers who handle breach of fiduciary duty in divorce matters or call 818-224-7900 to schedule an initial consultation.