In Times of Divorce, You Still Need to Properly Disclose the Financials

Author: Regina Franco

By law, spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships which control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations 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. Family Code § 721. This fiduciary duty arises on the date of marriage and does not end just because divorce proceedings have begun.

Among the issues requiring resolution through divorce is property division. In order to effectuate a division of property within the parameters of the law, parties must comply with the disclosure requirements of the Family Code. Parties are required to exchange complete and accurate declarations of disclosures listing all assets and debts in which a party has an interest regardless of whether the characterization of the asset or debt is separate or community property. When making disclosures, parties must uphold their fiduciary duties owed to each other and once disclosures are exchanged, the fiduciary duty requires that the parties update and augment their disclosures to the extent there have been any material changes so that when the parties enter into an agreement regarding property division, each has full and complete knowledge of the relevant underlying facts.  Family Code § 2100.

The Court will not enter a judgment of divorce unless the disclosure requirements have been met. Completing and exchanging declarations of disclosures are not only a technical step to getting divorced, but a very serious requirement. A violation of the disclosure requirements or a breach of the fiduciary duty could result in an award of 100% of the undisclosed asset to the complying spouse or a set aside of a judgment of divorce. There is no question that full disclosure is not only best practice, but also is mandated by law.


Court Declines to Enforce Uber’s Terms of Service

Scripta Ad Astra is extremely pleased to present a guest post by Nicole Syzdek.  Ms. Syzdek is an Associate with our friends at Brand & Branch LLP, who focus on branding (trademark protection, registration and enforcement), and provides advice on privacy and data security practices.

Author: Nicole Syzdek

On July 29, 2016, the Southern District of New York in Meyer v. Kalanick declined to enforce the arbitration provision of Uber’s Terms of Service on the grounds that the plaintiff did not have adequate notice of, and consequently did not consent to, Uber’s Terms. Since each online user interface differs, there is no bright-line rule to ensure the enforceability of your terms of service. Nevertheless, decisions like Meyer are instructive in helping business owners understand how to ensure that their own terms of service are enforceable if violated.

The central issue in Meyer v. Kalanick was whether the plaintiff actually agreed to Uber’s Terms of Service when he signed up to use Uber through his mobile phone. Below is an image of what the plaintiff saw prior to registration:

The court categorized this as a “sign-in wrap” since the user was notified of the existence and applicability of the Terms while registering as a user but was not required to view them. The court took issue with the appearance and placement of the terms of service language, which was located below the options to use PayPal or Google Wallet and stated:


By creating an Uber account, you agree to the 


The court found that this language was in a font barely legible on a smartphone and not prominently displayed in relation to the color and size of the overall design of the registration screen. This layout, the court said, did not adequately draw users’ attention to the Terms of Service—let alone to the fact that by registering to use Uber, a user was agreeing to Uber’s Terms.

Why Should You Care?
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to limit risk and keep your business running smoothly. One way to limit liability with respect to your websites and mobile applications is to have strong, enforceable terms of service. Your terms of service are your contract with your website visitors; they protect you by telling your customers what they are and are not allowed to do on your website or mobile app, and what they can and cannot expect from your website or service. Your terms should also enable you to ban users who violate these terms from your website, or terminate their accounts from your service.

Your terms of use are an incredibly important and powerful tool in managing your potential liability—but only if they’re actually enforceable.

The Uber decision makes clear that “click-wrap” agreements—which require a user to click through your terms of service—are the safest bet and most likely to be enforceable. By contrast, “browsewrap” agreements—burying your terms in a link at the bottom of the page or smartphone screen—are usually only enforced against other businesses that should be knowledgeable about the terms. “Sign-in wrap” agreements like Uber’s may be enforceable, but the notice of acceptance and link to the terms of service must be prominently positioned prior to the user completing the registration process.


Nicole Syzdek is an Associate at Brand & Branch LLP, focusing on intellectual property and technology matters, including trademark and copyright prosecution and enforcement, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, licensing agreements, Internet policies, and privacy. She may be reached at

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