Penalties Surrounding Fraud During Divorce Litigation in Florida
A divorce can be a stressful and difficult process. Not only does it mean the end of a relationship, but it requires couples to divide assets, separate finances, and make decisions about child custody and child visitation. Unfortunately, some people respond to this stress by lying to the courts about income and assets or physical abuse, and in turn, incurring penalties.
If your divorce was based on fraud, you don’t have to accept the results. The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell can help you uncover the truth and renegotiate a fair settlement. As experienced divorce attorney in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida, Attorney Matthew Martell we can gather evidence that supports your claims and protects your legal rights when you go back to court.
Cases of Fraud During Divorce Litigation
Perjury in divorce cases doesn’t always involve lying under oath. In many cases, fraud occurs because a spouse lies on divorce paperwork. This fraud may involve:
- Concealing income or assets
- Misrepresenting the value of assets
- False allegations of spousal abuse
- Lying about child abuse or neglect
If you suspect that your ex-spouse committed fraud, you’ll need evidence that supports your claims. This evidence could include a review of financial records, deposition of alleged witnesses, or information uncovered by a private investigator. Even if your divorce has been finalized, you can request that the court reopen your divorce if your spouse lied during the litigation process about financial matters.
Penalties for Fraud During Divorce Litigation
Lying during a divorce can lead to financial and legal consequences. In Florida, disputed divorce cases are heard in front of a judge. The judge has the ability to change the divorce final judgment even after it’s been finalized. If one party is proven to have lied, the judge could choose to award more money and assets to the other party.
In addition to these consequences, committing fraud can lead to perjury charges. When you sign a document during a divorce case, you do so under penalty of perjury. If someone knowingly lies during divorce proceedings, the judge could refer the case to a prosecutor. Penalties for perjury include fines, probation, and even jail time. Please note that as a practical matter this is extremely rare.
Lying in a divorce case could also cause the deceitful party to be held in contempt of court. A finding of contempt could have serious legal consequences, including fines and attorney fees and costs reimbursement. While the severity of these consequences can vary, there is a wide range of penalties for spouses that lie during a divorce.
How a Divorce Lawyer in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL Can Help
If you believe your divorce was based on fraud, it’s not too late to act. Even if your divorce has been finalized, it’s still possible to reopen your case and change your divorce final judgment In order to do this, however, you’ll need strong evidence that proves your claims of fraud.
The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell has access to tools and resources that can help you gather the evidence you need. We can file subpoenas to get access to financial records and depose potential witnesses. If necessary, we can call in expert witnesses that can determine the true value of an asset. Once we have the evidence necessary to reopen your case, we can represent you in future court proceedings.
Please reach out to us if you have concerns about fraud. Our firm has extensive experience with family law and has successfully represented clients in hundreds of divorce cases. Call us today at (941) 556-7020 to schedule a free initial phone consultation.