Divorce is a complicated process that requires thorough preparation and commitment. This makes it necessary to deeply understand the essence and aim of every divorce procedure. As a result, you will know how to manage your situation so that it ends up beneficial for you. Check out what is a discovery in divorce to decide whether you need this step and how to handle it properly.
What Is a Discovery
Discovery is a lawful procedure that takes place before trial. It is aimed at collecting all the related information for partners and involved experts to reach an equitable solution for a divorce case. The discovery process may include interrogations, requests for the production of documents, and admissions. The main aim is to guarantee that soon-to-be divorcees, their attorneys, and the court all have similar and enough information to manage the case properly.
Review top asked questions to help you get a full picture of what is a discovery in divorce:
Why Do I Need Discovery in Divorce?
It helps collect the evidence and all necessary data to come to an agreement or pass an equitable decision in property distribution, alimony, custodial issues, etc. When asked about any information or docs via the discovery process, the divorcee has no right to hide anything, otherwise, they may be strictly punished.
What Are the Common Types of Divorce Discovery?
Within the divorce process, any authorized person may ask for the following to be conducted:
- requests for the production of documents
- interrogatories (in written form)
- requests for admissions
There are also two other processes that require the involvement of third parties and relevant experts to be processed. They are subpoenas duces tecum (similar to requests for the production of documents but targeted at third parties) and mental and physical examinations.
|Definition||The process of gathering and disclosing information and evidence in a divorce case|
|Purpose||Allows each party to obtain relevant information and evidence from the other side to prepare their case|
|Types of discovery||Interrogatories: Written questions that one party sends to the other, which must be answered under oath|
|Depositions: In-person questioning of a party or witness under oath, which is recorded|
|Requests for production: Requests for documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and emails|
|Requests for admissions: Written requests asking the other party to admit or deny certain facts|
|Benefits||Helps ensure that both parties have all the necessary information to make informed decisions about the divorce settlement|
|Can help identify potential issues or disputes that need to be addressed|
|Provides an opportunity to resolve disputes before trial|
|Process||Typically, each party sends their requests for discovery to the other side, who has a set amount of time to respond|
|If one party fails to comply with discovery requests, the other party can ask the court to compel them to provide the information or evidence|
|Depositions are usually scheduled in advance and can take several hours to complete|
|Timing||Discovery usually takes place after the initial filing of the divorce petition and before trial|
|The length of the discovery process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of information that needs to be gathered|
How Does a Request for the Production of Documents Work?
When information from divorce forms for Texas is not enough for you and your attorney to handle the case for your benefits, a request for the production of documents may be a helpful tool. This is a lawful way for you to obtain documents related to marriage termination (e.g. tax returns, employment data, etc.) so that you can get a full picture of the situation.
What Do Interrogatories Stand for?
If you choose interrogatories to help you prepare for divorce better, you will have to compile written questions related to marriage termination which you want to ask your soon-to-be-ex. This may be anything related to your case, such as questions about finances, property, post-divorce intentions, and more.
What Are Requests for Admission?
When dwelling on what is a discovery in divorce, you may need to deal with one of its types – a request for admission. You should only enlist the statements that interest you and are related to your case and the other party will only admit or deny them.
What Does the Deposition Process Include?
This is the lawful process that usually takes place in the courtroom or within any other authorized conditions according to the local legislature. The other party or a witness is questioned under oath by your lawyer. The testimony can be used as legal proof for the divorce case.
Can You Object to Discovery Requests?
Although every divorcee has the right to appeal to discovery in divorce, they have the right to reject it, too. If you believe that the discovery is too extensive, too vague, or irrelevant regarding the case, you can avoid participating in it.
How Long Will Discovery Take?
There is no average duration of discovery. The process may last several months and even over a year considering the complexity of the situation and the evidence to win. Mind that both sides may request for discovery, and not always simultaneously, meaning that the process may last twice longer.
How Much Does Discovery Cost?
Discovery cost will fluctuate between $2,5k and $10k on average depending on the complexity of the case and duration of the process. Although, it may seem to you as quite a waste of money, what happens after discovery in a divorce is usually equitable outcomes that you should aim at.
Can I Find Out About Hidden Assets through Discovery?
This is one of the main aims of the discovery process, to learn about everything that your spouse wished to hide from you. The discovery procedure can help you find out about hidden assets, covering offshore bank accounts or undisclosed property, etc.
Can I Use Discovery to Find Out about Infidelity?
This is one of the top popular reasons to exploit the discovery. If there is a financial trace or any other recorded activity related to an extramarital affair, you can reach for discovery to reveal the truth.
What Follows the Discovery Process?
When discovery is over, you can use the evidence gained the way you like. The two popular options are either to settle an agreement or get ready for the trial, both based on the information you were able to collect.
When you struggle to proceed with the divorce due to a lack of relevant information and your partner is unwilling to grant it, the discovery process is a useful tool to obtain the full picture of the case in a legalized way. Pick out the discovery type that suits your situation best or compile several ones, get your attorney and other relevant experts to assist you, and reveal the information to play as evidence for the equitable aftermath of the marriage termination.