Most people know that lying is a bad idea, especially when it occurs in a court of law. As such, you'd likely make a point of telling the truth if you were ever involved in a legal issue. This plan can quickly evaporate, however, if you were to be in a child support hearing after a divorce. Such hearing can be heated, and given that a lot of money can be on the line, it can be easy to misrepresent yourself with the goal of protecting your financial interests. The problem with doing so is that if the court learns that you've been dishonest, you could be charged with perjury and face some legal consequences. Here are three common ways that you could perjure yourself.
Lying About Your Employment Status
In an effort to pay less in child support, you might decide to be dishonest about your employment status. For example, you might report that you've recently lost your job, and that means that you cannot remotely afford to pay what your ex-spouse is asking for in support. Or, you might state that your company is going through restructuring right now, and that means that you could soon be laid off. The problem with both lies is that the truth is as easy as someone placing one phone call to your employer — and this can lead to a charge of perjury.
Lying About Your Income
A common way that people perjure themselves in child support hearings is by misrepresenting how much money they make. It's easy to think that by stating you make far less than you do, the judge will base your child support payments off this fictional number — and you'll end up with more money in your pocket. Unfortunately for you, you can't just give a verbal report on your income. You need to provide written documentation, and if it were to be different than what you're stating, the court could believe that you're lying.
Lying About What You Owe
You could decide to be up front about what you earn, but make fictitious claims regarding what you owe. Your mindset might be that if you report that you owe a lot of money, your child support payments will be lower. While the court will take what you owe into account, it will also need to see proof in the form of financial statements. If you aren't honest about this topic, you could face a perjury charge. If you end up charged in this manner, a criminal defense attorney will help you.