In Texas, the process of divorce can be contentious, and large financial settlements can be at stake. It may be tempting to try to falsify documents for a divorce, especially ones pertaining to finances, but this carries heavy penalties.
Perjury and Documents
Perjury is the act of lying or concealing the truth in court. This is not restricted to oral statements: it also includes signing or creating documents. In the case of a divorce, this might take the form of altering bank statements to conceal funds, or hide assets by keeping the records of their existence out of the court proceedings. Any form of perjury during the course of a divorce will not be looked favorably upon by the judge.
Penalties for False Documents
The penalties for perjury vary depending on local laws as well as the severity of the case. It can also imperil the chances of getting a good outcome from the divorce. Fines and even prison time are possible outcomes for a conviction in perjury. It is difficult to successfully hide major assets in a divorce, and the penalties for attempting to do so are considerable. There is no penalty for honest mistakes– perjury is reserved for knowingly lying or concealing information, including in documentation, not in accidentally leaving something out. That is why it is critical to be transparent with the judge in a divorce case.
Creating false documents or hiding real ones in a divorce case is a crime, and it is an action that can jeopardize an entire case. Perjury has potential custodial penalties if the case is severe enough.