Discovery helps you avoid ‘ambush’ in divorce case

We all know divorce is not something anyone hopes will happen. It can be a painful, drawn out process that, in some cases, takes several years. One of the most tedious parts of a divorce can be the process of Discovery.

divorce_petitionDiscovery is a process when the parties in the divorce work to get information from the other side or other people. Discovery usually begins a short time after one spouse starts legal proceedings and may go on until a settlement is reached or before trial. This process enables both parties to know before the trial begins the evidence that may be presented. It’s designed to prevent “trial by ambush,” where one side doesn’t learn of the other side’s evidence or witnesses until the trial.

Documents that are usually requested in Discovery have information related to each party’s economic, financial, and personal situations. These can include documentation on how much property each party owns, the debt they’ve incurred, their income, many years of tax returns, loan applications, and life insurance policies, among a long list of items requested during this process.

Part of Discovery includes Mandatory Disclosure. This is a rule that requires both parties to exchange certain documents in any proceeding for permanent financial relief. These documents must be served on the other party within 45 days of the dissolution of marriage petition being served. The documents could include a request for child support, alimony, proper distribution of assets or debts, attorneys’ fees, suit money, or costs.

The Discovery process is a good way to get financial information from an uncooperative spouse because the court can order that spouse to comply. If your spouse refuses to produce the documents, the court may punish your spouse by imposing a “sanction,” which can include fines or even a judgment against your spouse on a specific issue. Subpoenas for depositions or documents are two other discovery tools we frequently use.

The Discovery process is generally the most time consuming part in any divorce. The more knowledge you have about your finances and your spouses’ finances the easier it will be to narrow down the search in discovery.

For more information on divorce and family law issues, email, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?

     Posted on April 22, 2015 at 9:58 am | No comment

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