What Happens If You Lie On Your Divorce Documentation?
When you get a divorce, your divorce attorney will have you sign many different documents to finalize the process. You must be honest when you fill out and sign these documents, just as you have to be honest when you go before the judge. While some mistakes could happen, you should not intentionally provide dishonest information on any of your documents. The following are some things that could happen if you are found to be intentionally dishonest on your divorce documents:
The Judge Will Lecture You
In the best of circumstances, the judge will sternly lecture you on why dishonesty on your divorce documents is a bad idea. If you are a person of influence or do not wish to have your dishonesty on display in a courtroom full of your peers, you do not want to be dressed down by a judge because you lied. It decreases your credibility, which can have harmful implications later on.
Your Divorce Finalization Will Take Longer
If you lie on your divorce documents and it is discovered, the divorce will take longer to finalize. You will essentially have to start over from the point at which your lies began. This means more legal fees for you and your spouse. You could even be ordered to pay your spouse's legal fees because your lie caused him or her to incur additional legal expenses.
You Could Go to Jail
In the most extreme circumstances, the judge could find you in contempt of court and send you to jail. When you lie on your divorce documents, it is just as if you had gone on the stand and lied in court. When you sign your documents, you are stating everything inside the documents is truthful on penalty of perjury.
Many factors will go into the judge's decision as to whether or not you should be found in contempt of court. The first factor is how serious the lie was and how it would impact the divorce. The judge you have will also be a factor. If you have a stricter judge, you could have a greater chance of contempt of court than if you had a more lenient judge.
A contempt of court charge comes with a large fine and time in jail. You also have to still pay for your divorce costs as well as defense costs associated with your charge. When in doubt, always tell the truth on your documents.