Lies and deception are some of the primary reasons why spouses end their marriage. As such, they often play a role in the divorce process.
Whether you tend to fib or your ex has a history of being dishonest, you should know how fraud and lies can affect the divorce process.
Lies about abuse, violence or neglect can arise when parties argue about spousal support or child custody, as such misconduct can affect these issues.
People who exaggerate or fabricate these claims often do so intending to hurt their ex. In reality, they typically hurt themselves and their children more. False allegations can tarnish the accuser’s reputation in the eyes of the court; they can unnecessarily poison a relationship between a deceitful parent and child; they can even result in criminal charges.
Attempting to conceal, undervalue or otherwise misrepresent your assets or liabilities in a divorce can be a very costly mistake. Parties often engage in this behavior to shield money or property from the division process, but in Texas, this is called fraud on the community.
Courts who uncover this fraud can award the wronged spouse a larger share of the community estate, as well as legal relief and a money judgment.
Divorce is a legal process, and the agreements you sign are legal documents. If you deliberately lie, deceive or make false statements in these documents, you are committing fraud.
Even the perception of fraud can be a red flag, as was the case in one divorce recently. Reports note that the parties’ attempt to transfer virtually all their property to the wife in an uncontested divorce was a “badge of fraud.” The courts rejected the proposed agreement.
When it comes to your divorce, honesty is essential. If this is a challenge for you, or if you suspect it will be for your ex, be sure to discuss your concerns with your attorney before signing or agreeing to anything.