You execute a divorce financial affidavit under oath in front of a notary public. Consequently, you swear on your oath that the information you provide in the affidavit is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. Therefore, if you intentionally provide false information on a divorce financial affidavit, you commit perjury. You face serious sanctions from the court.
The function of submitting a financial is to provide the court accurate information to make decisions in a divorce proceeding, according to "Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce" by Emily Doskow. These include decisions relating to division of assets and debts, child support and alimony or spousal maintenance. The importance of these issues necessitates correct and accurate financial disclosures through the affidavit.
Property And Debt Division Penalty
If a court discovers you lied on your divorce financial affidavit, a potential penalty centers on the division of assets and debts associated your marriage, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. A judge can elect to sanction you by reducing the property you otherwise would have received in the case. As alternative, the judge can increase the amount of debt assigned to you in the divorce decree.
Most jurisdictions permit a court to impose a monetary penalty on you for lying on a divorce financial affidavit. The size of the monetary depends on the extent of the misrepresentation and the impact the misconduct had on the case itself. A court can withhold property from being conveyed to you until you satisfy the penalty. In the alternative, the court can deduct the penalty from a cash transfer intended for you in the divorce decree.
A judge can hold you in contempt of court for submitting a false divorce financial affidavit. In theory, upon issuing a contempt citation, a judge possesses significant latitude to take additional steps against you. The judge can impose any number of sanctions associated with the contempt citation, from a fine to a jail sentence.
One of the most common misconceptions associated with providing false information on a divorce financial affidavit is that the consequences for misrepresentation are insignificant. In fact, because of the importance of the document and because you sign it on your oath, by definition the consequences for lying must be severe by operation of associated laws, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law.
- "Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce"; Emily Doskow; 2008
- American Bar Association: Section of Family Law
- "The Divorce Organizer & Planner"; Brette McWhorter Sember; 2004
- David Pereiras Villagrá/iStock/Getty Images