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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37818
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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In California, is there an action to acquire financial information

Customer Question

In California, is there an action to acquire financial information from a spouse if there is no dissolution filed by either party?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.

I am afraid not. Without anything filed in court, you cannot file either a subpoena (which requires litigation) or discovery (with requires litigation as well). I am sorry.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
I believe there is law allowing a spouse to request financial information from the other spouse even when you dissolution is filed.
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.

Ca Fam §2100 et seq. allows the disclosure and current income and expense declarations in dissolution, legal separation, and nullity actions. Ca Fam §§ 2100(a),(b) & (c), 2120(a).

However, barring that, there is no law that states that spouses have to disclose financial information to each other without litigation.

However, I will opt out. Perhaps another expert will care to weigh in.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

My colleague is correct that there is no means of forcing one spouse to disclose financial information to the other spouse, without litigation. However, I don't believe that was your question. You asked whether or not there is an "action" to force a spouse to disclose financial information. And, the answer to that question is absolutely yes.

Spouses are no less obligated to each other for common law civil wrongs than are legally estranged persons. A spouse who believes his or her significant other has committed a fraud or breach of fiduciary can sue under either legal theory.

"In transactions between themselves, a husband and wife are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships which control the actions of persons occupying confidential relationships with each other. This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other. This confidential relationship is a fiduciary relationship subject to the same rights and duties of nonmarital business partners, as provided in Sections 16403, 16404, and 16503 of the Corporations Code . . ." Family Code § 721(b) and § 1100(e).

The difference with these legal actions is that they would be brought in the regular civil department, rather than in the family court department.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37818
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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