Most people work hard for every nickel they earn and for what they have in terms of investments, savings, property and the like. So, when Texas residents find themselves in the throes of divorce and their spouses are expecting to get many of those assets, they may be thinking about keeping quiet about some of what they have. Not only is that against the law, but it can do more harm than good in the long run.
It could harm negotiations
Even if a person does not get charged for lying under oath (which is a possibility), getting caught will likely destroy any trust the estranged spouse may still have in his or her partner that could hamper negotiating the divorce in good faith. The divorce could drag on for months, and a settlement could become unattainable. In such cases, a family court judge might have to divide marital assets, and the person who lied could face a much worse outcome.
Honesty typically proves beneficial
Both parties must sign a financial affidavit as a part of the divorce process. By signing that document, parties agree they have disclosed all their marital and non-marital assets and debts. That includes anything a spouse did not know about or did not request information about. If either person lies, he or she could be charged with perjury. There have been instances where the judge awarded all the assets to the spouse who was lied to.
Things like underreporting the value of assets, exaggerating size of debts or paying an imaginary employee of a business owned by one spouse comes with a myriad of potentially bad consequences. It is always best to be honest when going through the divorce process. Having a thorough understanding of all the marital property involved in one’s divorce can significantly increase the odds of no mistakes being made and ultimately achieving the best possible outcome.