When two people get divorced in Florida, they are generally required to file sworn financial affidavits with the court. These financial affidavits contain information about the party’s income, liabilities and assets. Each party in a divorce has a right to know the financial situation of the other party. Since the financial documents are affidavits, they are sworn to under oath.
In a recent divorce case near Jacksonville, Florida, the husband filed his financial affidavit but lied about his income. The wife learned that the husband lied on his financial affidavit and filed a motion for indirect contempt. Indirect contempt can be found when a person violates a clear court order. If there is no court order, a party can still be found in contempt if he/she does something designed to embarrass or obstruct the court’s administration or authority. Although a divorce case is a civil case, filing a false sworn affidavit is similar to committing perjuring while testifying. As a result, the court could find the husband in contempt, and 10 days in jail was an appropriate penalty.