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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Consequences of Lying About Your Finances During Divorce


There is nothing fun or comfortable about a divorce. While you are attempting to separate your life from your spouse and become physically, financially, and emotionally independent, you have to continuous share information with your soon-to-be ex. When you are not on the best of terms with your spouse, having to give up personal information can make you anxious, angry, and resentful. Unfortunately, providing honest and accurate information to your attorney and the court during a divorce is essential. Lying almost always has a way of coming back to haunt you.

Financial Disclosures During a Divorce

Both you and your spouse will be required to disclose your financial information during a divorce. This will include your income, assets, and debts. Your income includes all of your regular and sporadic wages, including any salary, independent contractor payments, and dividends from investments. Your assets may include real estate, investments, insurance policies, retirement accounts, pensions, art, and other personal items. Your debts may include credit card debt, auto loans, mortgages, and other loans.

Why Financial Disclosures Are Important

You may want to keep as much information as possible private during a divorce. Unfortunately, your finances must be out in the open. Documentation regarding your income, assets, and debts is necessary to determine what is part of the marital estate for the purposes of property division versus what is entirely your own. Without a full and accurate accounting of the estate, the judge cannot gauge whether a property settlement is appropriate or what is an equitable division of the estate. Your finances are also necessary to determine how much alimony and child support are necessary.

How and Why People Try to Lie About Their Finances

Individuals often try to lie about their finances during a divorce in order to retain more property than their spouses. It can also be to avoid having to pay alimony or at least reducing the amount and duration of spousal support. Lying can also reduce a parent’s child support obligations.

To further these unethical ends, individuals often:

  • Report a lower income
  • Fail to report all sources of income
  • Hide cash
  • Hide assets
  • Undervalue assets
  • Overstate debts
  • Report higher expenses

Consequences of Lying About Your Finances

You may think telling a fib or two about your finances during a divorce is not a big deal. However, that is not how legal proceedings work. When you are required to provide your financial disclosures, you certify that what you return to the court is accurate and true. If this is false and you know it, there can be serious consequences.

If the court finds you intentionally lied about your finances, you could be sanctioned. You may have to pay fines and/or your spouse’s attorney fees. If you were requesting alimony and trying to make your income look smaller, your request for support may be denied.

Contact Our Leesburg Divorce Lawyers for Advice

If you are going through a divorce or planning on filing, call the Leesburg divorce lawyers of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982. We can help you through this process. We will be honest in all of your disclosures to the court will fighting for your right to a fair property settlement.

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Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!