Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Perjury in Divorce Cases

Perjury in divorce cases refers to the false statement being given under an oath. If a person believes that he/she is telling the truth, but is factually incorrect, then that person is neither a liar nor a perjurer. If a person knowingly and intentionally makes factually incorrect statements under an oath, then he/she is both a liar and perjurer. The person is termed to be merely a liar, if he/she makes a statement that is not under an oath.

Perjury could run rampant in divorce trials. In civil cases, criminal prosecution for perjury is virtually non-existent. The points related to perjury in divorce cases are discussed below.

Perjury by contradiction

A spouse could be charged with a third degree felony, if he/she in the course of testimony offers contradicting facts. When there are two contradictory statements under an oath, the prosecutor doesn’t need to prove which of the two statements is false. It is determined that both the statements cannot be logically true.

For e.g. In a contested divorce case if a spouse claims that he/she signed or submitted certain documents and later claims that the same documents had been submitted by another person, the spouse could be charged with perjury by contradiction. The prosecutor doesn’t need to find who in fact submitted the document, but is considered a fact that it could not be submitted by two different people.

Victims of perjury in divorce cases are in the position today where the domestic violence victims found themselves a few decades ago. The legal system unfortunately does not to deal with perjury as it should be dealing and the victim who tries to file a perjury complaint is often not taken that seriously. The person who goes under a traumatic situation is not at all treated with respect.

Divorce is as such difficult, but when the estranged spouse commits perjury or his/her lawyer lies under oath with affidavits filed with the court and the court blindly ignores it rather than dealing vigorously with it, the trauma of divorce is more.

Proving perjury

The burden of proof is on the lawyers of both the spouses, in any divorce case. It is the duty of the lawyers on either side to prove if perjury is committed by the opposite party. They need to prove to the court whether the spouse on the other side has presented any false statements or facts in spite of taking an oath. On proving perjury the judge determines the punishment to be given to the perjurer spouse.

Examples of perjury in divorce

The most common example of perjury is when a spouse gives a falsified sworn testimony in a divorce court case. However, there are more types of perjury that are very common. For e.g. it is considered to be a perjury if a spouse provide wrong information about his/her earning capacity when the court orders for child or spousal maintenance after taking an oath.

Perjury in divorce cases increases depending upon the financial condition of the spouses. If any of the spouses think of avoiding the situation of paying the child and spousal maintenance in most of the divorce cases, perjury is committed intentionally under the oath of law.

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