Lying in Court Child Custody -What Can Happen

One of the biggest mistakes that could sabotage a child custody case is lying in court. 

This can happen in high-conflict battles where one parent may want to have total control of the child. In most states, lying is a felony and is punishable by the law. For example, California Penal Code 118 PC clarifies the crime of perjury, and any person that is found guilty of perjury or giving false testimony while he or she is under oath is deemed to have committed a felony that is punishable by fines, a sentence of up to 4 years in jail, and probation. 

Lying under oath is a serious offense that is punishable by law. In any legal proceeding, the parties swear before the court to tell nothing but the truth. When such an oath is broken, it may come with serious consequences. 

I'm not saying she's a liar, but she's a liar.

There are so many reasons why a parent may lie in court, including accusing another of things that would, if not detected, ruin the chances of the other parent getting custody of the child or a fair parenting time by the court. 

However, judges are experienced enough that a person who lies in court typically will find him or herself in a losing situation. 

Lying, therefore, does not add any value or weight to a child custody case. Instead, it may work against the person perpetrating lies and can ruin the chances of winning. 

Reasons Why a Parent Can Lie in A Child Custody Case 

There are so many reasons that may make one parent lie in court. This may be deliberately or with ignorance. A parent who lies in court may think that he or she is doing so to make things better but eventually, things turn for the worst. 

To Make The Other Parent Look Unfit 

The main aim of most parents who lie in court is to accuse the other parent of things that would make him or her look unfit to take custody of the child. This is common in high-conflict cases where each parent does everything possible to win the child. 

One parent may resort to using lies to paint the other parent irresponsible and unreasonable to the needs of the child. 

Basic Parental Ignorance In Matters Of Law

An ignorant parent who is not well-versed with the law may think that lying is a way to convince the court to win his or her case. This happens especially if the parent does not have an attorney to represent him or her, or a good attorney who can guide and advise the parent well on matters that could easily sabotage the case. 

Of course, ignorance is no defense when it comes to matters of law. Therefore, lying ignorantly doesn’t mean you are likely to be forgiven of perjury crime. 

Trying To Avoid Or Escape Accusations 

The parent who has been accused of things like violence or substance abuse may want to lie to the court to make the court believe that he or she is innocent and has not committed any violence or abuse. He or she may do this to escape the accusations from the other parent. 

However, it doesn’t just end that way, the judge may request further investigations of the matter to prove who is lying to the court. 

How Do Judges Know That A Parent Is Lying?

An experienced judge is likely to note lies during the legal proceedings. When one parent cannot prove with evidence the accusations, a judge may order for a child custody evaluation to affirm the truth behind all the accusations. 

If the judge finds that a parent is lying after evaluations have been done, that parent is likely to lose. 

What Are The Consequences Of Lying?

The consequences of lying in a child custody case would depend on the nature of the lie. In California for instance, lying is a perjury crime that is classified as a felony and that is punishable under the Penal Code 118 PC. These consequences include:

The Penalty Of Perjury Is Punishable

Lying in court, under oath, is punishable and a person who is guilty of lying commits a felony that is punishable by probation, jail, or fines. 

Therefore, if you are a parent lying to win your case and you are found guilty of lying under oath, that is a serious offense and you are likely to face the above serious consequences. 

Ruins The Chances Of Winning The Case 

Of course, you cannot lie and expect to win your case. Once you have been found to have lied under oath, you are very likely to lose your child custody case and even parenting time. 

This shows that you are not in the best interests of the child but want to have your way against the other parent. It is one of the things that could sabotage your chances of winning. 

Therefore, if you want to win your child custody case, you should always tell nothing but the truth. 

More Investigation 

If a parent is accused of many things such as violence or abuse and the judge wants to check the authenticity of such allegations, the court may use experts such as a guardian ad litem to investigate the matter and act in the best interests of the child. 

These experts may prove the allegations to be true or not and if a parent is found to have used lies against another parent, he or she will then face the consequences as we have mentioned. 


Lying in a child custody case is a serious offense that can ruin the chances of winning the case. A parent who lies in court is deemed to be after his or her interests and has nothing to do with the best interests of the child. 

Lying is also a punishable offense and a person may be held for committing felony crimes and the consequences may vary from one state to another. Generally, lying can attract fines, jail time, or both depending on the nature of the lie. 

Therefore, if you are a parent and want to better your chances of winning and avoid things that can ruin your child custody case, then it is important to always be honest when presenting your facts in court.