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Divorce and Perjury

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Jun 2020 |
Perjury Lie Court Divorce Proceedings

A person who is proven to have lied in evidence given court is guilty of perjury. The offence can only be made out if an individual has lied under oath. This can be particularly prevalent in the divorce courts. Emotions are running high, and litigants’ views on the ‘facts’ of the marriage and ensuing divorce can vary enormously. But if a person swears, on oath, that they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’ and then goes on to lie, they have committed perjury.

In divorce cases, however, it can be very difficult to prove. This is because very often the truth is only known between the two divorcing individuals, and that it is essentially one person’s word against the other.

Proving Perjury

There are, however, other cases in which it is possible to prove that an individual has lied under oath. In such situations the penalties are harsh. The problem in divorce cases is that the various authorities involved in the proceedings – the judge, the lawyers, and anyone else – may not care at all that your ex spouse has perjured themselves in the context of your divorce.

Often the financial amounts that are disclosed during the divorce proceedings are less than the reality. It is very common for divorcing couples to try to conceal assets and lower their income for the purpose of trying to ensure that the subsequent payout is much less than it otherwise should have been.

In extreme cases, your former spouse’s lawyer can also provide evidence on affidavit that these lies are true. Again, whether or not there is something that can be done to punish your ex or their lawyer depends on the seriousness of the act and whether or not it can be proved.

An Example of Perjury

In some extreme cases, however, it can mean that an individual is prosecuted and sent to prison for perjury. There have been numerous high profile cases of perjury in non-divorce cases. One lesser known example is that of a man who forged his wife’s signature on divorce documents (which alone would constitute Perverting The Course Of Justice), and then went to court to swear his evidence.

On oath, the man told the court that his wife had signed the petition but had decided not to have anything else to do with the divorce proceedings. On the strength of the evidence the man gave the court, the judge decided to annul the marriage and issued a decree absolute. Unfortunately, his former wife, who knew nothing of the divorce proceedings, contacted her own solicitor just weeks after the marriage was annulled. Very quickly she learned that she was already divorced and that her former husband had forged her signature and lied on oath to the divorce court in order to get the marriage annulled.

The police quickly intervened. A handwriting expert confirmed that the signature on the divorce documents was far more likely to have been written by the man. He pleaded guilty to perjury and was given a six month prison service, which was suspended for two years.

For more information on divorce proceedings, read our article on Divorce And Contempt of Court on this site.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Hi I'm curious, as to know if I can have some claim of purgy if my ex husband put he wasn't co habitating and didn't plan to re marry when he wad actually in a relationship and the said girlfriend was pregnant at the time he filed for divorce? Her financial details, were not in his form E. He has a job in law and order and has clearly lied in offical court forms
Moozle - 14-May-20 @ 10:56 PM
My wife has filed for divorce on the "5 Years separated" rule. We have lived apart but have still been doing things as a couple (I have stayed over, had family holidays, days out, intimacy... etc) I'm thinking that this is perjury but if someone is that desperate for a marriage to end, then I'm kinda getting the message. I've just signed the form saying I'm not contesting. I'm wondering if the court run checks (I don't know if they look on social media or do any other checks) and it comes out could I get into trouble for not disclosing the truth? TIA
DJ - 12-Apr-20 @ 1:02 AM
My husband told the court I had been physically served the divorce papers I can prove he was not in the same country as me on that date He also told the judge o was served by email I was not I’m assuming he have a false email to his attorney The divorce is now finished but I have not yet received my settlement As he is agreeing I can have custody of the children if I give up my settlement Can I prosecute him with regards to the perjury Thank you
Eve - 8-Jan-20 @ 6:54 PM
My husband told the court he had physically serveddivorce papers with a very elaborate shorty to the judge.He was actually out of the country and I was not physically served.He then added that I was served by email.I’m assuming he provided a false email address to his attorney which his attorney emailed the and served the papers to. I never received any email serving me I was unable to attend court in Texas as I had a car accident and was living in the uk I was unable to travel the divorce went ahead There is much more csn I prosecute just on the above?
Eve - 8-Jan-20 @ 6:46 PM
This is a question regarding my ex lying in court about a property she owns in Caribbean country, where she and her family used to live. The property has no legal title as yet as the land is still in probate. It was a key factor in a settlement. She is appealing the settlement but I want to pursue her perjury. The evidence I gave was not sufficient for the judge. However if I can get a subpoena to get the local authority in her country to confirm that as far as they are concerned that property is registered with them as hers and they send bills to her, my case is so much stronger. Is that possible?
Al - 24-Oct-19 @ 10:13 AM
My partner will be divorced in 4 days but is now really ill in a hospice and end of life care. I’ve been blocked and wife is telling him I’ve stolen some of his things. His mental capacity is situational like dementia. I have his divorce papers and proof he has for 2 years been with me. I’ve been to police, safeguarding, used control abuse but it’s like because he is dying no one cares about his volatile relationship with to be x in 4 days and my love for him and pain this is causing. His brother has taken over next of kin while in nhs hospital. He does not have a relationship as well with his brother. Safeguarding have ignored
shaziain - 23-Jul-19 @ 12:49 AM
Recently I discovered a petition for dissolution of marriage had been filed and a diligent search affidavit, notice of action, and publication had all been in motion. The problem is I wasn’t missing and unable to be found. I discovered this by looking up a current case I am in proceedings with verifying an upcoming court hearing, the petition was located DIRECTLY ABOVE MY OPEN CASE.My soon to be ex has been able to contact me and his fiancée has initiated contact with me and when I responded nothing happened, she stopped on her end. Brian my ex blocked me on his end because I wouldn’t agree to simplied divorce. He sold my vehicle while married because “he has a safer” vehicle he wanted to give me. Within 3 months he blew through all money I had saved, had possession of all my personal property and turned from Mr nice guy into Mr narcissist man.When I left he told me to walk. Without a place to live or family to help, without transportation, without a full time job as I had coming into marriage. Long story shortened more he hired an attorney, they petition for divorce submitted incomplete and inaccurate diligent search affidavit and filed notice of action in another county. What motions if any do I submit to show deceit on court.
Ladymac - 8-Apr-19 @ 12:29 AM
Here’s my story in a nutshell. My ex wife caught me talking to an ex on Facebook messenger (the girl contacted me) bashed and kicked me out of home. After 4 months I got my own place but still managed to do family time with her and the kids but she would always pick a fight when I left and saythings like “enjoy your night without your children”. In retaliation I started to talk to girls online but unfortunately she got access to my computer and called off the marriage saying that this will be a nasty divorce. Straight away she started dating a guy who I suspect she knew previously which devestated me as I basically was all talk no action as I really wanted to keep my marriage. I approached the guy and sad if you are not serious please leave us alone as I am trying to save a family. Two weeks later I got a text from him saying “you can have your wife back and stop feeling sorry for yourself.” I thanked him and we started going out on family outings again and I even slept in the same bed as my wife (though no touching) The following month we entered a fun fair with the boys and took one each and agreed to swap them over regularly. When she didn’t turn up to one I went looking for her and my youngest son. I found her sitting with her family and that guy was alongside her. I then made the biggest mistake of my life. On realising it was him in front of 20000 I punched him three times in the face before I realised what I had done then exited the arena. No charges were laid but the guy has milked it for everything and it has been used to destroy my life. I tried to apologise for striking him but he would not look me in the eye instead sending snide texts about me when I was standing with my wife outside the courtroom while she said she would see him between 1 week and a year wtf The next two months went in a blur till I was contacted by my ex who told me she had seperated with the guy and would never see him if I signed the divorce papers. I did not want to sign them but agreed to give everyone closure. Guess what ten days after the divorce she announced she was back with him. This pattern has continued for 8 years even though the guy is now borderline obese and has to wear hats 24/7 as he is paronoid about his bald head.tgey have never lived together. Worse though is he got her to try and get me banned from my own kids sport as he is not man enough to be near me even though I haven’t spoken to him for 8 years by getting her to put a DVO on me. Lucky as I had never committed physical violence on her the conditions were minor and it was only put in place due to my texts telling her what a disgusting person she was for backtracking on the divorce pledge. He put an affidavit in but was too pathetic not to come to court to be cross examined on his lies so it was excluded, The order ends in two months . Who knows when the nightmare will end
Cam - 1-Dec-18 @ 9:25 PM
Xns - Your Question:
Please help! Me and my ex husband married in Hong Kong 2010 and have a child together. He left us in May 2013 and travelled back to Hong Kong. Whilst he was in the U.K. he treated my son badly who was 2 at the time. He know wants to leave him out of the Divorce Petition so that he does not pay anything for him but continuously tries to get my son to see his parents. Can he file for a divorce without any mention of my child (he is the father). Can someone please advise? Thank you

Our Response:
Your ex cannot leave his son out of any financial agreement and will be responsible for paying child maintenance as the non-resident parent.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-18 @ 2:51 PM
Please help! Me and my ex husband married in Hong Kong 2010 and have a child together. He left us in May 2013 and travelled back to Hong Kong. Whilst he was in the U.K. he treated my son badly who was 2 at the time. He know wants to leave him out of the Divorce Petition so that he does not pay anything for him but continuously tries to get my son to see his parents. Can he file for a divorce without any mention of my child (he is the father). Can someone please advise? Thank you
Xns - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:19 PM
@BB - I'd let this one go. You're not going to get very far with this - it's water under the bridge. What do you expect will happen if you do pursue it? She's not going to get sent to prison. A rap on the knuckles would be about the furthest extent a court would go and then you'll have to pay a fortune in solicitor's fees to get it to court. Don't try to get back at your ex. The most important thing is your kids, so the main thing is to always act in whatever interests are beneficial to them. Personally I can never understand people who will do anything to get even. Letting stuff/anger go is so much less stressful. If you want to get access to your kids, make that your sole objective - not getting even with your ex. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh - but from this perspective if your mission is to get even with your ex you're playing a losing game.
RichB - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:42 AM
My ex lied to the police 5 years ago and got me arrested for alleged domestic violence. Giving a detailed account of untruths however i was never charged and no furthee action. A year later she put another story to the police which got me arrested again and said that it was the first time o had hit her and she couldn't believe it. Once again i was released no charge no further action. She and her boyfriend has pulled countless stunts to ge the children away from me and this weekend i have had enough. How do i get copies of her statement then take her to court for lying to the police. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
BB - 9-Apr-18 @ 3:37 PM
can someone help me please,have been divorce for 19 years but i kept in contact with my ex husband after ten years,I had an eye op in Feb this year and i ask him to come in and help me out for a few weeks,now he does not want to leave the property but he is not leaving. He also have a key the property which he did not give up when he left 19 years ago ,now he is using it to come into the property...what can i do.
angie - 4-Apr-18 @ 6:58 PM
Hi, I'll been divorced for 2years I just find out on my divorced paper that the number of years my ex husband filed was fraud . I never read it since at thattime I'm very depressed of my life since the company ill been working closed down and the new mgt terminated me which at this time I'm still joblessThe divorced letter was in my drawer which my ex husband put . We got married in July of 2003 to December of 2015 but my ex spouse but 5 yrs 2003 to 2007. Do you think it's fraud can I filed perjury.since he take advantage of my situation.
Carmen - 23-Feb-18 @ 7:56 PM
Odd one, whilst I’m extactic to be away from the ex we’re still married and have a little one. I was in the process of submitting a divorce application based on her adultery once our house sale went through and I had some cash. She’s now contacted and said she’s not happy with the terms and wants to apply for a divorce on the grounds of two years separation. Although I should point out at this stage that we’re still three days short of our first year separated. I suspect that if I argue she’ll become evil about access to my little one and any money we make from the sale of ten house will be swallowed by the solicitors. Im not keen on purjerying myself either, any views?
Mr Jinx - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:55 PM
I've been married to a service man we got married in the Philippines when he move to the states he stop sending spousal support, start living in with his gf and kept the marriage pretending that everything is ok while trying to establish his single life. After a year he file for divorce but lied to the court that he doesnt know my mailing address so what he did is he done it thru newspaper publication while telling me that he had sent the divorce papers. Only to file out that the court has already granted default judgement. Never got the chance to reply to the divorce papers since nothing was mailed. Now I do not know what to do as I dont want to end up paying all his loan he made while he was with his mistress. And the court wont email me either the documents and he is also MIA.
MrsCArter2013 - 9-Nov-17 @ 12:36 AM
Jesse345, eldest 18, youngest 16, they were totally supportive at the start, even wanted to leave their own mother, but she's been emotionally blackmailing them and poisoning everything I do, she even has them thinking I'm turning them against each other. There's no such thing as the perfect husband or father, but i tried damn hard to do that, now after 25 yrs, I've lost my home, my family and my best friend, who is doing nothing short of burying me. I'm broken
OZ - 5-Sep-17 @ 4:49 PM
@OZ - I feel your pain. How old are your daughters? Surely, they understand that you're a good dad. Hang in there and continue to be the good dad. The most important thing is your daughters and nothing will ruin their love for you if you've done right by them <3
Jesse345 - 5-Sep-17 @ 12:57 PM
Thanks Matt, but it doesn't make it any easier. She's moved him into the family home, has turned my girls against me, has been prescribed medication whilst married for an STI, all provided to the court and they agree with her. She's now trying to clean me out, after I have spent 23 yrs working hard for the family and adoring the ground she walked on. She continues to spread lies even to her own parents and our daughters. I accept the marriage is over, but its because of her, but why turn my girls against me and why break me, its not as if we are rolling in money. Her new fella is well to do, his own daughter won't talk to him, but he's making a huge effort to impress my girls. I've been alienated and lost everything, its a nightmare I can't wake up from
OZ - 5-Sep-17 @ 10:30 AM
@OZ - it doesn't really matter in the long run, people give any old reason. Blaming another person is an outdated and outmoded concept and really should be changed. It's about time this system was rewritten.
Matt - 4-Sep-17 @ 2:58 PM
My STBEW has lied on her statement of case, I have provided the court with a 4 page letter showing that it was not my behaviour that caused the marriage to fail, but that she was having an affair. The court has found in her favour, I'm disgusted and furious, am I entitled to see what she entered as evidence on sworn affidavit ????
OZ - 2-Sep-17 @ 3:35 AM
I've got divorced and signed the consent form but I've found out my ex husband has been hideing his assets and other money from his buuseness will i be able to contest the consent order
nat - 6-Apr-17 @ 9:59 PM
can someone help me please if i sign the statutory declaration i will be agreeing with mothers allegation of the registrar letting her do this the records office clearlystated to the mother On letter dated 8/February/2017 (As previously confirmed by this office examination of the register entry indicates that two people attended the register office to give information for the registration. This is confirmed by the fact that the qualification shows the word 'Mother and Father'.) I have received the Statutory Declaration form dated 23rd March 2017. Due to the serious nature of the error and the need for two people to sign, I am willing to sign the correctionwhen the document clearly states the facts. I feel that if I sign the declaration as it stands to date that I may be committing a criminal act. Fact I am willing to sign the truthfulpart of the case is as follows 1. the man named as the child's father was not present at the time of registration and did not sign the register page. 2. That at the time of the registration no details relating to the child's father should have been recorded. I feel that the information is incorrect and still an error 1. That the information for the birth was given by the mother of the child alone. On letter dated 8/February/2017clearly stated that As previously confirmed by this office examination of the register entry indicates that two people attended the register office to give information for the registration. This is confirmed by the fact that the qualification shows the word 'Mother and Father'. In defence of the mother if she is correct as her letter on the 16/08/16 states. And you have added this to theStatutory Declaration Document. Quote “There wasn't anyone with me purporting to be there father I signed the register myself. I wasn't aware that there would be a problem with this as the registrar apparently allowed it” Yet on the Statutory Declaration there is no reference to the Registrar acting unlawfully. If this is the case an error took place and would of caused the serious nature of the error and this should be worded accordingly. Even though I believe that the Registrar is innocent of the accusation made by the mother This needs to be established before I can sign the correction. When the document will clearly state the facts and clear any inaccuracy on the Statutory Declaration Document. At the moment its left unclear and this is the reasons why That the information for the birth was given by the mother of the child with a unidentified Male. That the information for the birth was given by the mother of the child alone. That the registrar acting unlawfully and allowed the entry. Kind Regards
fuzzy - 28-Mar-17 @ 9:47 PM
@deft - stand back and keep away from the issues. If there is no evidence to prove you have committed domestic violence then no charges will be brought against you. But, if you start to fight fire with fire it could actually backfire. There is nothing wrong with your ex 'speaking to another male' and you can't have your ex sacked from a job because she is going through her own personal problems. Keeping away from her and having no communication is your best course of action. Jilly.
JBM77 - 5-Jan-17 @ 10:26 AM
I am currently going through a nasty Divorce my spouse told her attorney that there was constant on going domestic violence in the home the truth is I have never touched this woman in 16 years well in short i have been suspended from my job with the state cause of her. my question is here she Is a RN and is very honestly acting out of the ordinary considering I caught her speaking to another male. 8 days later I was served divorce papers. I suffer from PTSD from the Army and she knows this this woman is causing me some serious mental trouble the VA has upped my Meds for the fear of my actions from Combat. My issue is how can one I prove she has incriminated her self. and how do i get her removed from her job personally is a nurse has the balls to act like this personally should not be working on a person no matter who it isreasons how can you trust them to do the right thing is they can lye about this what else can they lye about. I am also looking to sue her for defamation of character and lost wages? is this possible hell honestly if i could send her to jail I probably would just so she could feel the freaking pain and devastation she has caused me. Lord know's if this was Afghanistan or Iraq I would not be worried about crap. Looking for answers...... How do you beat someone that is out to destroy you for no real reason or good reasons.
derf - 4-Jan-17 @ 6:55 AM
I have served Marriage dissolution I am respondent my spouse is a conditional residence she just entered in usa not long ago she had battered me in 4 days marriage fraud now she wants money green card benefit and has false statements in marriage dissolution file accusing me as a useless she had played with me big time I had trusted her being part of my life put all Faith on her she didn't spare me I went to india on August 15 2016 to August 29th 2016 just after she gets visa on August 4th 2016 she was going to come to USA with me on August 29th 2016 she never came stayed with me in back in Home village indialeft me behind on August 23nd 2016 came over hear in USA Chicagoand soon I arrived hear she left me in 4 days it's almost 3 months no communication or relationship I was so depressed and emotional I had spent lots money for wedding all my family came to india on wedding I had lost my reputation back in my home and still she asking for money gold and benefits to stay in the USA she wants to obtain green card and gain citizenship worst human being I ever met in my life I had loved her so much everything is destroyed I want her to be deported back where she belongs withdrawal all my pitition file paperswhat should than do give her perjury for liying
Nil - 22-Nov-16 @ 4:00 PM
I am divorced from my ex wife who committed a marriage fraud and made false allegations against me. She came from India and had been in the U.K. for 8 months. We had not consummated the marriage and when I approached and instructed a solicitor and explained this, they proceeded with a divorce petition despite being told that we had not consummated the marriage and had valid grounds for annulment. I have since been granted a divorce and am stuck in a financial settlement dispute, my new family lawyer stating that I should have had the marriage annulled, The solicitors who drafted and served the petition note in the petition that the marriage was not consummated as one of my grounds; surely this is a contradiction in terms. Indeed it proves that they were aware of my position and still proceeded with the divorce as my only option to leave the short marriage. I would like to know how I can sue the solicitors who did not persue an annulment when they were made aware and acknowledged in writing that the marriage had not been consummated. I believe the solicitor who acted for me was a novice and the managing partner was not supportive, an altercation happened in their office reference another matter (my nephew taking on a lease) where a solicitor verbally attacked me for turning up unannounced because I had complained about him to the managing partner; who betrayed my confidence. The firm agreed a fixed-fee divorce comparable to the offer from a firm where I had first consulted, but because they were not immigration lawyers they suggested I go to such a solicitor, and the firm I used tried to charge some £800 over the £500 dispursments and £500 fixed fee previously agreed which I had paid, stating my case was overly complicated and they were dismissed as a consequence when my decree absolute was finally granted in January 2016 (I applied for this myself). Can you help?
Vinnie - 16-Oct-16 @ 10:32 AM
Well my ex husband was told by the judge that he had to give me $8,000 and he had to send me something in the mail so I could sign it. I as married to this man for 37 YRS. I have tried to get spousal support But he says he has no money which is a lie. He told me he can't give me anything due to social security is taking $500 a month from him, he want show any paper work at all. He has lied to the judge about how he can't walk have While I have a picture of him walking also he is fishing. He plays the victimhe also sign a paper saying it wax me which I never sign But judge still took it. Help
red_ant - 17-Sep-16 @ 11:55 PM
Hi, I was arrested and falsely charged with s.39 common assault when my wife accused me of beating her with a shoe in a frenzied attack in May 2015 (injuries she had self inflicted using an iron) she having been in the country for just 8 months, with no subsiding relationship between us because I was depressed and I just didn't find her appealing (she was causing me a lot of stress and it was an arranged marriage and the chemistry just wasn't there - indeed I was having treatment for impotency and depression) without a single concern for me, she invoked the DV process by making false and malicious allegations so that she could get ILR in the UK. She has been supported by the establishment despite being a foreign national who has committed marriage fraud, she was refused entry into the UK twice before marrying me and had a previous marriage of convenience - something that came to light after the fact. As a British man, born and bred, I have been crushed by the due process. In a phone call made to me she confessed that she had caused her own injuries because she was upset and had no other alternative other than to die. This call was recorded and forensically proven to have taken place, and translated. It was used in court at my subsequent trial and I was found not guilty with the Magistrates concluding that her evidence (given via video link) was inconsistent. The waste of public funds, the pain and suffering I endured over the six months the CPS took to bring the case to trial and both the Police and CPS failing to use the confession evidence because SHE had insisted that it was not her voice on the recording. She also proceeded to make RAPe allegations when her attempts at reconciliation broke down, because I had bail conditions not to contact her and I refused to allow her to return home. These new allegation led to my arrest and humilation, I consented to my medical records being provided and these confirmed that I had been depressed and my marriage had failed and that we were not intimate and I had been sent for testes examinations and offered treatments for impotency etc. At the Magistrates Court, the recording was played and when the Magistrate asked her who's voices they were - she answered "mine and my husbands" - sadly I had to sit through 6 hours of evidence (3 hours of her evidence via a translator - when she can speak perfect English) before the matter was concluded and my acquittal. All the evidence was provided to the CPS and they blatantly continued to support my then wife, who in those three hours committed perjury by insisting that I had beaten her, something her own 'confession' clearly contradicted. Indeed, there is text messages and whatsapp messages that veto everything she said on the stand, and I would like to know what action I can take in regards to the Police's failure to be fair and impartial, the CPS continuing with the trial when they accepted that one of us was lying, and they believed that to be me b
Vinnie - 14-May-16 @ 1:55 PM
Ben - Your Question:
My ex husband told me he was in financial difficulty and needed a quick divorce.he told me we would sign papers saying whats mine us mine vice versa to protect me from his debt. In the papers hecsaid he owned nothing and was not planning to marry or buy a house. Wecwere divorced at 11am some days later. Ive subsequently discovered that he completed the purchase of a 6.4m pound house at noon the same day we were divorced. Have I any recourse to his lies?

Our Response:
Yes, I would seek some legal advice regarding this, especially if your ex over-stated his debts and under-stated his assets.
SeparatedDads - 25-Apr-16 @ 1:55 PM
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