Discovery is part of almost all trials from personal injury and criminal cases to divorce and contract disputes. This part of the legal process directs both sides of an issue to be forthcoming with evidence and information about the case prior to the beginning of the trial. All of the information gathered during discovery helps prepare for the upcoming trial. While discovery techniques are not used as often during divorce, some complex divorce situations can call for nothing less. If a divorce trial is needed, then discovery is probably a necessity.
Full Divorce Disclosures
To avoid having to subpoena financial documents and deal with extraneous orders, all divorces rely on each party being honest and forthright about financial and other issues. In most cases, those disclosures prevent having to go through discovery or a courtroom experience. However, some divorces involve complex matters with a host of issues that must be settled by a family court judge. What brings a case to discovery and a trial often consists of disagreements on a property, debt, child custody, and more.
What Is Divorce Discovery?
Discovery is a series of actions rather than one. A lot depends on the scope of the divorce. The list below is a few common discovery practices:
This is probably the most common and well-known of all discovery actions. Depositions may be held in a conference, and both parties, their lawyers, and a court reporter are involved. In-person testimony by the parties and any witnesses are recorded and may be used later during the trial.
A series of declarative statements are provided to each side. They can either agree or disagree with each statement. In some instances, the parties can withhold an answer pending further information.
Similar to admissions, interrogatories are a series of questions that should be answered. They are usually in written form. For example, a question might be "Do you have a bank account that your spouse does not have knowledge of?".
Documents are requested and produced. With a divorce case, that might mean the findings of a private investigator, a police report, and more.
It can be extremely stressful to participate in discovery procedures, especially the deposition. Speak with your family law attorney, and find out what to expect and how to best prepare for every aspect of discovery with your divorce.
Contact a family law firm near you to learn more.