Under community property codes, during the marriage each spouse has 100 percent control of their marital assets and property. You can sell property. You may gift assets. You can liquidate an account. However, you and your spouse are also liable for the same fiduciary duties as held by business partners.
The key is disclosure. During your marriage, you are responsible for openly communicating your actions and dealing fairly with your spouse. To hold spouses accountable, the law places steep monetary sanctions, or penalties, on the spouse who hides assets.
We recognize the fact that most couples are not aware of their fiduciary obligations in marriage. Seldom do both spouses have a complete understanding of the extent of their marital assets. When you engage in complex property division, the situation can be both confusing and frustrating.
Recalling what you had before your marriage, what you acquired during your marriage and what you hold in other states can be difficult. When you and your spouse do not discuss financial matters openly, it may make it easy for your spouse to hide assets.