When you file for a Pasadena divorce, you'll be asked to submit a financial affidavit with information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts. It is used by your attorney, your spouse's attorney, and the court to prepare for the case and determine a fair settlement. When the affidavit is prepared, you must sign it to verify that the information provided is true.
Intentionally lying on the affidavit is considered perjury, a felony under California law and punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, the judge does have discretion to issue a lighter sentence based on the individual circumstances of the case.
People lie on divorce financial affidavits for several different reasons. Some are angry about the divorce and want to hide assets from their spouse, while others are trying to cover up money spent on a drug addiction, gambling problem, or an extramarital affair. In marriages where one spouse handled most or all of the family finances, he or she may simply think that the lie has little chance of being discovered.
While the most serious penalties are reserved for outright lies, even simple mistakes can create problems. If you estimate numbers because you don't want to take the time to track down actual financial records, or you forget to factor in a recent performance bonus when reporting your income, the judge may think you are being evasive on purpose. If your spouse discovers the numbers are incorrect, he or she may be awarded a larger-than-normal portion of the marital assets, or you may be saddled with a larger-than-normal portion of the marital debt.
If you submit a financial affidavit and later discover that you made an honest mistake, it's in your best interest to come clean as soon as possible. Mistakes can be corrected by filing an amended affidavit, which your attorney can assist you in preparing.
How Can We Help?
Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys are eager to advocate for your needs and help you move on to the next stage of your life.