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Divorce-linked illegalities yield dire results for ex-spouse

Had he known the dire consequences linked with a reduction in child support payments and a couple extra weeks with his son in the summer, an ex-Navy veteran would hit the replay button on his life.

And he would have never forged his former spouse's signature on divorce papers and filed them in court.

It's a weird case to be sure, but it is worth spotlighting to underscore how clouded emotion and stress during the divorce process can lead some people to do decidedly inadvisable things.

In a nutshell, the soon-to-be-ex husband and dad took that forged signature to the courthouse back in late 2015, along with an alleged written agreement on support particulars and visitation rights that differed markedly from what he and his wife had orally agreed to.

The wife and mom found that perplexing upon discovery, given the couple's general amicability and agreement to act in the best interests of their son.

A recent news account of the forged divorce papers and attendant consequences notes that the mother "could have just shrugged off the bonus signature," given that what the couple had originally agreed to was subsequently given legal effect. She pushed for criminal authorities to act in the matter, though, telling reporters that she wanted to see material consequences realized in the matter.

They certainly were. The former husband recently pleaded guilty to perjury and is serving a half-year sentence of home detention. Additionally, the forged reduction of $700 monthly in child support was jacked up to $1,300, and the father forfeited all visitation rights concerning his son. Moreover, he was tasked to pay more than $30,000 in court costs, legal fees and other exactions.

There is certainly a strong moral attached to the story.

And that is this: Stark consequences can flow from a divorcing party's actions that are not both ethical and lawful.

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