It should come as no surprise to you that divorce brings out the worst in people. Emotions run high and ex-spouses will sometimes bend the truth or flat out lie about the facts of their marriage in order to get a greater share of property or to avoid incurring substantial debt. But happens when one spouse is caught lying in court?
Under Oath Explained
During your legal proceedings, you will be asked to swear or affirm that you will tell the truth. The moment you do this, you are under oath, which means you are subject to severe consequences if you lie.
Lying Under Oath
It is important to note that spouses who lie generally stand to lose more than they would gain if the lie were actually factual. If your spouse lies under oath, your attorney will have to prove their statements are false before further action can be taken against them. Once your attorney has the proof needed, your attorney can inform the judge, who will determine the appropriate consequences.
Lying under oath is also known as perjury, which is a state and federal crime. Judges can decide to forward the case to the prosecutor for criminal enforcement. Committing perjury is punishable with probation, fines, or a prison sentence. In Texas, there are two different types of perjury: (i) perjury (non-aggravated); or (ii) aggravated perjury. A person convicted of perjury (non-aggravated) committed a Class A Misdemeanor that carrying a fine up to $400 fine and/or sentenced to one year in jail. A person convicted of aggravated perjury committed a third degree felony, resulting in a fine up $10,000.00 and/or a maximum 10 years in prison.
Even if your spouse’s lie doesn’t result in a criminal investigation, they can still be found in contempt of court, which may result in fines or time in jail.
Are you going through a divorce? Do you need help proving that your spouse lied under oath? If so, call (469) 314-9216 today to request your free 30-minute initial consultation with Phillip M. Herr.