Fiduciary Duties: A word of caution. The family code obligates each spouse to full disclosure, fair dealing and safe transport of assets and obligations. If a spouse can present satisfactory evidence that their spouse failed to disclose and asset or obligation, was not truthful about an event relating to the community estate or failed to reasonably preserve the community estate, the court, on a breach of fiduciary duty motion, may penalize the breaching spouse, with monetary sanctions, attorney fees, and/or an unequal distribution of the community estate.
Assets: In dividing the community estate assets are characterized as either separate or community or partial separate and partial community.
Separate assets: These are assets that are owned prior to the marriage, inherited and or gifted, subject to certain commingling issues. Separate assets are awarded to the spouse that owns the separate property without offset in the division of the assets and obligations of the marriage.
Community property: Is property acquired during marriage through the work services and efforts of a spouse, unless there is a valid pre or post nuptial agreement or transmutation agreement that provides otherwise.
Community property is divided one half to each spouse. Each asset does not have to be divided but rather may be awarded to one spouse and the value offset against other assets or subject to an equalizing payment.
When meeting with Mr. Falletta to discuss division of the community estate please bring the following:
The short version is that you will need to bring all information necessary to complete the schedule of assets and debts. The earlier you can provide the information and the more complete the information is the better the likelihood of amicably resolving your case.
In general the following information will be required to meet your duty of full disclosure:
- Real property deeds;
- Current mortgage statements;
- Property tax statements;
- A list, by room, of the household furniture, furnishings and appliances;
- A list of jewelry, art, collections;
- Copies of vehicle registrations and current loan statements on any vehicle;
- Copies of all current banking statements;
- Copies of all life insurance policies
- Copies of all stocks, bonds, secured notes;
- All documents relating to both spouses retirements, profit sharing, IRA’s;
- Copies of documents pertaining to all partnership or other business interest;
- Copies of documents pertaining to all student loans;
- Copies of documents pertaining to all taxes currently owed;
- Copies of current statements re all credit cards, other debts or loans.