When you get a divorce, you could have to go through the discovery process. The goal of discovery is to provide you with the evidence you need to prove part of your case. Through discovery, you can ask for special information from your spouse and others during your divorce. One common use of discovery is to obtain financial and asset records.
For some, the discovery process can feel invasive and frustrating. However, fully understanding how discovery works can help you get through it more easily. Here are some things you should know about discovery during a divorce.
Why Is Discovery Necessary?
During a divorce, you and your spouse will likely experience many emotions. You may also not communicate well. Both of these instances make discovery a beneficial process. When you go to court, your attorney needs the discovery process to help prepare arguments for your case.
Through discovery, the attorney is better able to fully understand your assets, expenses, and income. Understanding the full picture of your circumstances can help you and your attorney make the best decisions for you both now and in the future.
What Can You Ask During Discovery?
Attorneys can ask for four different types of documents from your spouse or other entities during discovery. One is an interrogatory document, which includes a list of questions which your spouse must answer factually based on his or her perception of a given event. Your attorney can use either a form with standard questions or create a form with specific questions.
With a request for reproduction document, you and your spouse have to allow access to different documents that relate to any contested issues. Examples include bank statements, pictures, receipts, tax returns, and the like.
A request for admission will ask you or your spouse for an admission or denial of facts in your case. This form requires you to provide a yes or no answer rather than an open-ended narrative like an interrogatory document.
The final document is a deposition. Depositions are sworn statements made by a given party. The transcripts of depositions can be used as evidence in a divorce case. The court reporter will transcribe a deposition for use during a trial.
How Can You Help With Discovery?
Your attorney should allow you to assist with the discovery process when possible. You can make a list of documents for your attorney to request during discovery, checking interrogatories, and the like. You can help clear up any facts so that your lawyer obtains better information. As you assist with discovery, you can rest easy and give clear insight to your lawyers.
You can help pinpoint any areas where your attorney should focus if your case goes to trial or to help during the settlement process. Never try to spite or embarrass your spouse with the discovery process. Doing so will accomplish nothing and ultimately waste time and money. Your goal is to provide factual information or situations that are important for your personal case.
In addition, helping during the discovery process will save you money. Your attorney will not have to seek out the information. If your attorney does all the leg work, you will have to pay for it. If you can provide information for free, you will save on your legal expenses.
The process of discovery does not have to be difficult. If you prepare yourself, you will feel more secure and comfortable as the process moves forward. If you need assistance with your divorce, please contact the Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC. We will work hard on your case and help you reach a fair settlement.