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What Happens if You Lie About Your Financial Standing in a Divorce?

Thursday, October 05, 2017
What Happens if You Lie About Your Financial Standing in a Divorce?

Lying about anything during divorce proceedings is never a good idea. As a married party, even if you aren't overly vocal about each other's lives, spouses tend to know a fair amount about each other, which makes lies difficult to pull off and never worthwhile. Yet, one of the most common lies that people will try to tell in divorce is about their finances. When beginning the divorce proceedings, both sides will need to fill out a financial affidavit. This helps the court divide up assets and make a decision in terms of alimony. Some spouses may want to receive more or pay less, making lying about their financial standing tempting, but no less wrong.

If you do happen to lie about your finances or suspect your spouse is, what will happen if, and very likely when, it is discovered?

If one party of a divorce is dishonest about their finances, they face serious penalties when it is discovered. Lying in any respect is lying to the court and against the law. So if you intentionally lie about your finances, the penalties can be as serious as criminal charges that may result in jail time.

However, the courts recognize that finances can be complex. If you did not knowingly lie about your finances, but rather miscalculated them, the judge will be more lenient, but you will still face penalties. Penalties for miscalculation can range from a stern and embarrassing talking to from the judge to awarding your soon-to-be ex-spouse more in terms of alimony. For example, if you made a $10,000 miscalculation, your spouse may be awarded those "hidden" funds.

The best course of action, always, is to be completely honest in a divorce and to have skilled professionals by your side. A quick trip to an accountant can easily help you sort out your finances while a great divorce lawyer will make sure to represent your interests to see that you are getting what is fair in terms of asset division. If you are starting divorce proceedings and need help sorting it all out, contact us today.