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What Happens if You Lie During a Divorce?

Many spouses might be tempted to lie during divorce proceedings. They may feel that the stakes are so high that they must do anything to win, including misrepresenting the truth. Some might lie in order to gain an advantage, while others may lie simply to spite their exes and cause as much stress as possible. When one spouse lies, the other might also tell lies of their own in an effort to get revenge. Some spouses preemptively lie because they are afraid their ex will spin the truth in a certain way. It goes without saying that this can lead to considerable confusion and frustration in a divorce trial. But what actually happens if you lie during a divorce trial? What consequences might you face if you get caught?

In this kind of situation, you should always take the advice of your divorce attorney. If you work with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina, they will tell you that there are better alternatives to lying in court. Work with one of our legal professionals, and you can use effective strategies to pursue favorable results, negating the need to lie in the first place.

The Family Court Will Lose Trust in You

Perhaps the most notable consequence of lying in court is the complete lack of trust the family court will have in you. After it becomes clear that you were not telling the truth, everything else you say will be viewed with a heavy dose of doubt. This also means that your spouse will be considered the “voice of reason,” and everyone will assume that their words are the truth. This complete lack of trust will permeate virtually every aspect of your divorce, from custody and child support to alimony and property division. Ultimately, you may get the “short end of the stick” in all of these areas as a result of your lies.

You Could Be Charged With Perjury or Contempt of Court

In serious cases of untruthfulness, you may even face criminal charges for lying in court. Perjury is a serious crime in the United States, and individuals are guilty of this offense when they lie under oath. Note that you can be charged with perjury not only for lying on the witness stand, but also lying in affidavits and other sworn statements. With all that said, however, it is unlikely that a spouse will face perjury charges for lying in family court. This is because divorces are common, and so are lying spouses.

This means that if the courts were to charge each lying spouse with perjury, the justice system would quickly be overwhelmed. The resources simply do not exist, and that is why a much more likely scenario involves being charged with contempt of court. This is a lesser offense, but still a serious issue if you are going through a divorce.

Unfavorable Custody Outcomes

Your untruthfulness may also affect your custody battle. Being dishonest does not exactly make you seem like a good parent, especially if your lies involve your children. For this reason, parents who lie in divorces may suffer unfavorable custody outcomes, while honest spouses are more likely to spend more time with their children after the divorce is finalized. For this reason, you should avoid telling lies about your spouse, especially in regard to how they treated the children during the marriage. While lying about your ex beating your kids might seem like a great way to win custody, this tactic can seriously backfire on you.

Your Divorce Could Drag on for Longer Than Expected

Lies can also cause divorces to drag on for extended periods of time. For example, when a lie is discovered, it can cause a previously finalized divorce to be thrust back into litigation. This entire process can add six months onto your divorce or more, and your divorce might have already taken months to finalize. This not only makes your divorce more stressful, but it can also make it much more expensive, as you will need to re-hire your attorney for another stint in court.

Enlist the Help of a Family Law Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a family law attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous spouses in the Tar Heel State, and we can help you utilize effective strategies to pursue favorable results. Even if your spouse is telling lies, there is no need to counter with lies of your own. A much better alternative is to maintain the moral high ground, using legal, proven techniques to walk away from your marriage with confidence and efficiency. Book your consultation today to learn more about your legal options.