Fiduciary Duties Between Spouses: Respect Thy Spouse
Husband uses wife’s private shopper and bank account to purchase $1.4 million worth of luxury goods from Neiman Marcus. Wife is bedridden the entire time recovering from a traffic accident. Private shopper is having sexual relations with husband, and earns a commission off of the sales. Neiman Marcus is reportedly refusing to return the goods. (See http://abcn.ws/KsRBy8.) Does wife have any legal recourse for the purchases she did not participate in? This true story is one extreme example of how spouses can breach the fiduciary duties they owe to each other.
Under the California Family Code, spouses are treated much like business partners and must deal fairly and in good faith with each other. The fiduciary duties require an “accurate and complete” disclosure of all transactions and provide that spouses share equal management and control of their community property. These duties are subject to few exceptions and the consequences for breaching them can be severe. If you find yourself on either side of a breach of fiduciary duty claim, the experienced attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can assist you in determining your rights, obligations and exposure.
The Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex family law matters. If you are interested in learning more about your fiduciary rights and obligations, contact the Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for further information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*Certified Family Law Specialist, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization