Can a divorce be reopened if there wasn’t complete disclosure?
Divorce proceedings are legally complicated and emotionally challenging causes of action. If you are involved in a divorce case, you likely have a myriad of questions. Included on your list of questions may be can a divorce be reopened if there wasn’t complete disclosure? The stark reality is that issues associated with appropriate disclosure by the parties to divorce proceedings are important elements of these types of cases.
The Commencement of Divorce Proceedings
On some level, complete and accurate disclosure of information is no more important than at the commencement of a divorce case. When a party files a divorce case, and the opposing party files an answer or response once a case is initiated, some preliminary disclosures must be made to the court and the other party.
Included in the disclosures that are made at the commencement of divorce proceedings are those involving financial issues. Indeed, the financial disclosures at the commencement of divorce proceedings govern a great deal of what occurs during the case itself. In other words, honest financial disclosures are fundamental to divorce proceedings.
Each spouse is required to provide accurate financial disclosures on their oath. Therefore, if a party to a divorce proceeding provides false information on the initial financial disclosures made in a divorce case, or fails to provide complete information, he or she can be guilty of perjury. In addition, this type of false or incomplete information can lay the foundation for an effort on the part of the other party to have a divorce case reopened because of this inaccurate data.
Motion to Set Aside Judgment
Technically speaking, in the aftermath of a discovery of false or incomplete information in a divorce case, you or your legal counsel would file what technically is known as a motion to set aside the judgment of the court of the divorce decree entered in your case. In the motion, you would delineate the specific information that was inaccurately or incompletely conveyed in the divorce proceedings. The court would set the matter for a hearing before a judge to take evidence and hear testimony about the false or incomplete information.
Sanctions Against Party Providing False or Incomplete Information
In addition to the court reexamining the issue or issues impacted by false or incomplete information, in this type of situation, the court is highly likely to sanction the party that provided inaccurate or incomplete data. Sanctions are likely to include requiring the party who provided false information to pay your attorney fees. In addition, the court is apt to rule in your favor in regard to an issue impacted by false or incomplete information. This ruling is likely to occur because of a recognition of the true facts of the matter, but also as a means of sanctioning the party that acted improperly in the case in the first instance.
Retain Experience Legal Counsel
If you have discovered that the other party in your divorce case provided false or incomplete information to you and the court during the case, you should seek legal representation to assert your legal rights. An attorney will schedule an initial consultation with you, likely at no charge, to analyze your situation. Legal counsel will provide possible courses of action you can take to address the matter of the other party providing false or incomplete information.