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Spouses Have a Fiduciary Duty, Until They ‘Lawyer Up’ for Divorce

Fiduciary duty is when one party owes a duty of honesty and fair dealing to another party. Common fiduciary relationships are an Executor to a will probate, a Trustee to a trust, an officer of a corporation to the corporation, and an attorney to their own client.

In its simplest form, it is the “Golden Rule.” If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to the other person in a fiduciary relationship.

According to the Texas Supreme Court, married spouses have a fiduciary duty to each other until they “lawyer up” for a divorce. Two Texas Courts of Appeals have held in recent years that “All transactions between a fiduciary and her principal are presumptively fraudulent. Thus it is a spouse’s burden to establish that she acted fairly and informed Husband of all material facts relating to the alleged transaction.” In Re Marriage of Green and McDaniel, 2017 WL 3224866 (Tex. App. - Tyler 2017, no pet. h.); Estate of Townes v. Townes, 867 S.W.2d 414, 417 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 1993, writ denied).

As with many situations, however, there are some exceptions.
Here's when fiduciary duty still applies.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson provides expertise, focus and compassion in times of family turmoil, having skillfully litigated and tried complex divorce, property division, and child custody cases for more than 30 years.

She has been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1992. Subscribe to the firm's newsletter here.

Thanks to D Magazine for a 5th Year of ‘Best Lawyers in Dallas’

D Best 2022 badge
I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected — for the fifth year in a row — to D Magazine’s list of the Best Lawyers in Dallas for my work in Family Law.

It’s an honor to practice family law and to support individuals in their times of need, and I’m grateful to be included on this list for my work. Thanks to D Magazine for this recognition, and to my fellow lawyers for nominating me!

A Client's Perspective

"Thank you! I appreciate your legal expertise and trust your judgment."
- L.A., Former Client
The highest compliment I receive is your referrals. If you know someone in need of assistance in a family law matter, please don't hesitate to share my contact information: and 214-303-0142. Thank you!

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