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All Spouses Subject to Fiduciary Duties

Guiding You Through Difficult Times

When dealing with property division in California family law cases, it is important to remember that all transactions between spouses are subject to the general rules that govern fiduciary relationships.  As cited in Irmo Haines (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 277, a “duty of the highest good faith and fair dealings” applies to each party to the transaction and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other. FC § 721(b).

Thus, when an interspousal transaction unfairly advantages one spouse, a presumption arises that the transaction was the result of undue influence.  Undue influence exists in “the use of confidence or authority to obtain an unfair advantage.”

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