Many of us are guilty of telling little white lies. However, lying to a court of law is a serious thing. This includes presenting false claims or documents in court.
Many people believe that perjury only constitutes lying while you are on the witness stand. However, perjury includes anything said or done to mislead the court. This may include signing a legal document when you know the information provided is false or materially misleading. While perjury laws differ from one state to the next, they generally include recordings, records, documents as well as other materials that contain false information and are applicable to court proceedings.
When it comes to divorce, perjury laws apply to the documents used in the filing for the divorce itself as well as any supporting documents. This includes misstatements made by either party on the reasons for the divorce or the length of the marriage. If documents contain lies or misrepresentations about income or marital property when deciding alimony or false accusations when it comes to determining custody, this will also be considered as perjury.
Caught in a Lie, Now What?
If you have attempted to mislead the court in your divorce case and have been discovered, you may be wondering what will happen next. Perjury in any case is considered a serious crime. If you are found to have committed this crime, you can expect the court to take it very seriously.
Falsifying documents in a divorce case undermines the credibility of the ruling of the court. It also compromises the judge’s authority in the decisions made. Both state and federal laws criminalize perjury. If you are convicted of perjury, the court may require you to serve jail time. You will also jeopardize your divorce case.
You may not have intended to make false statements or mislead the court, but are likely to pay the penalty for perjury as a result of mistakes made while filing for divorce. You can avoid these problems by seeking the services of a qualified attorney like J. Darrell Beckham.
Attorney Beckham will go through your documents and ensure that there are no false or misleading statements that could compromise your case. Beyond that, he will advise you on how to effectively present your case to ensure you get the best possible result in your divorce proceeding.