When it comes to your divorce, it is always helpful to have at least a basic understanding of the process. One aspect of the divorce process you should be aware of is discovery. Procedural rules ask each party to share all information that is relevant to the case with the other party. This process is called “discovery”. Discovery may sound simple, but it is a complex and extensive process.
The discovery process is very important in the divorce process, as it allows both parties to inquire about information from the opposing party. Each party is entitled to have knowledge of the evidence that the opposing party will be presenting during the case. The discovery process is a very time-consuming and detailed process. It is actually intended to push people to come to an agreement and not reach the point of litigation.
What Are the Rules of Discovery?
There are guidelines that you must follow when requesting information from your spouse. For one, all information that you request must be relevant to the case. Requests that are deemed to be outside the scope of the divorce will be denied. It is important to consult with your attorney beforehand so they can help you understand what you may or may not ask for.
Where To Send Your Discovery Responses
You will send your discovery responses to your spouse’s attorney rather than the court. They are to be submitted within the required thirty day time period, however you can work out an extension with your spouse’s lawyer if you are unable to meet this deadline.
Types of Discovery Requests
- Request for admissions: This is when both parties are asked to confirm or refute any facts that are relevant to your case. If you do not wish to answer, you have the option to object. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the requirements to do so.
- Request for disclosure: This is a pretty straight-forward process. You will be asked basic information about yourself, such as your name, contact information and the information for any potential witnesses that you may call to speak on your behalf.
- Request for production and inspection: This is where the discovery process becomes time-consuming. Each side gives the other party the documents to review. This allows both parties to prepare their case. The documents include bank account information, bills, tax returns, proof of communication, etc. Both attorneys will then submit their client’s responses on their behalf.
- Interrogatories: In most cases, the highest number of interrogatories that can be submitted is 25. The responses are considered to be made while under oath, and you are required to sign your name to them.
As you can tell, the discovery process can be complex for a non-attorney. It is not something that you should head into alone. Make sure you are prepared for the divorce process by scheduling a consultation with one of our attorneys today.