Fiduciary Relationship During Marriage & Separation

In California, there are statutes (laws) that impose fiduciary duties on married people.  These fiduciary duties require married people to behave in certain ethical ways with regard to one another and these duties are in effect upon marriage and continue after separation and through to the time your divorce is final and, in some instances even after your divorced.  For instance, Family Code sections 721 and 1100, when read together, impose on each spouse the obligation to act in the highest good faith toward one another and to never take any unfair advantage of the other.  One way that spouses commonly violate these fiduciary duties is by taking and hiding documents concerning assets and debts (whether those assets and debts are community or separate) and by refusing to provide those documents to the other spouse.   By playing “hide the ball” a person could be in breach of his or her fiduciary duties which can result in sanctions (monetary fines) against a party.