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Essential Family Law Concepts

Under Fam C §720, a "[h]usband and wife contract toward each other obligations of mutual respect, fidelity, and support."

The confidential relationship between spouses imposes "a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing" on each spouse and "neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other" Fam C §721(b). This confidential relationship is "subject to the same rights and duties as nonmarital business partners."

One party cannot make a gift of community personal property or dispose of it for less than fair and reasonable value without the other spouse's written consent Fam C §1100(b).

When a spouse breaches the fiduciary duty imposed by statute, and when that breach results in the impairment of the other souse's interest in community property, the injured spouse has a statutory claim against the other spouse under Fam C §1101(a). The court may provide a variety of remedies to compensate the injured spouse including the following:

  • The court may order an accounting
  • The court may order changes in the title to property
  • The court may award to the injured spouse one-half of the value of any assets undisclosed

When the breach justifies imposition of punitive damages under CC§3294, the court will make a mandatory award to the injured spouse of the entire asset!

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Address: 10700 Civic Center Drive Suite 200 Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730 Phone: (909) 989-9923