Divorce Law: Repercussions for Lying About Finances in Florida Divorce

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I tried to convey how seriously Florida divorce law takes lying on your financial affidavit in the above video by mentioning that you will be treated like someone who has committed fraud, but I wanted to get into the specifics a bit more here.

What if you don’t intentionally lie, but just make a mistake? After all, finances can be complicated, and lots of people end up estimating if they are not sure. What if the omission, inaccuracy or lie is only for a small amount instead of a lot of money? Does that make a difference? What are the different types of punishments that you might face?

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Punishments for Lying on Your Affidavit under Divorce Law

As any experienced Orlando family attorney will tell you, the sanctions that you might have to face vary wildly, and a lot of it depends on the judge in charge of your case and the severity of the omission or lie. Here are just a few possible punishments that might come up.

You’ll get yelled at. Yes, that’s right, it’s possible that the judge might just decide to openly reprimand you if he or she finds out that there is incorrect information on your financial affidavit. Under Florida divorce law, disputed divorce cases are tried in front of a judge, without a jury—and that judge will not take kindly to falsification of an affidavit. After all, this is the basis for child support determinations, as well as a basis for the distribution of assets.

You’ll have to give more to your spouse. Suppose you want to split your assets 50/50 and it comes out that you were hiding $50,000. This would be grounds for the court to adjust the equitable distribution scheme, perhaps by keeping the original arrangement but give your spouse that money. Or, even worse, make it 60/40 in their favor. In divorce law, these things can happen. Even if the divorce is final and you’ve escaped with your hidden money, you aren’t safe. If at any point the other side discovers that you lied, they can reopen the case and alter the arrangement.

You’ll be found guilty of perjury. A financial affidavit is like getting on the stand and testifying. You are swearing to the court that you’re telling the truth. If a lie is uncovered, it is technically perjury, so if it’s a big enough lie or you’re belligerent about it, you could be charged with perjury and face sanctions including criminal charges.

Still thinking about what you can do to keep your money and assets out of your spouse’s hands? Do not do anything until you talk to an Orlando family attorney and learn about your options. There may be legal ways to protect yourself under divorce law, but you need the advice of an expert.

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