Divorce Law: What Happens to the Party Committing Fraud? 

If you’re trying to get a divorce, you may wonder: What happens to the party who lied under oath? Fraud in the community? Perjury? Contempt of court? If so, you’re in trouble. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself. Fraud in community cases is rare, but they do exist. There are several other potential consequences. 

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Lie under oath 

In Florida, if one party repeatedly lies under oath, they forfeit any claim against that person. Courts have upheld that the court must punish such behavior with the strongest sanctions available. Fortunately, Florida courts have recognized the inherent authority of the judiciary to punish abusive litigants. This is particularly true for repeat liars who repeatedly fudge the truth. 

Fraud in the community 

If you want to sue your spouse for fraud, Texas law may provide the right remedy. Texas’s Family Code provides that a spouse may sue for fraud on the community estate. Essentially, a fraud on the community is when one spouse improperly hides or transfers community assets before the other’s death. This fraudulent transfer prevents the other spouse from claiming a half interest in the property. This legal claim applies in community property states. 

Perjury 

When a party commits fraud during the divorce, the other side has the right to sue to have the fraudulent documentation thrown out. If a judge finds out, the party could face disciplinary action, including criminal prosecution. Thankfully, the process is easy. In many cases, the parties can work out a solution with the help of a lawyer. The following are some things that you should know before hiring an attorney. 

Contempt of court 

While most cases of contempt in family law involve failure to pay child support or follow parenting time orders, some of these contempt actions can also lead to jail time. In extreme cases, a judge may even order the party to pay the other side’s attorney fees and costs. It’s important to understand the implications of a contempt finding before proceeding. Once you’ve been found in contempt, you’ll need to hire an attorney. 

Restitution of community estate 

Restitution of the community estate when a party commits fraud has multiple purposes. The goal of restitution is to compensate the victim, and often, it is intended to provide a financial benefit to the victim. While this goal is not always achieved, courts and legislatures often use restitution to punish fraudsters. Here are some examples of how restitution is often appropriate. This article outlines the most common types of fraud and why they should be punished.