Discovery – “How Information is Exchanged”
Discovery is a fact-finding process that takes place after a legal action has been filed and before trial in the matter, in order to allow the parties in divorce or family-related legal disputes to prepare for settlement or trial.
It is based upon the belief that a free exchange of information is more likely to help uncover the truth regarding the facts and issues. Both individual court rules and state rules of evidence govern the discovery procedure.
There are deadlines and guidelines for filing discovery requests and submitting answers. A failure to timely or properly answer a discovery request may lead to fines and other sanctions.
Some discovery methods include written questions called interrogatories, requests for admission which can be only admitted or denied, oral questions at depositions, requests for inspection of property, and requests for production of documents to be delivered to the requesting party. Responses are due within a month if so requested by you, and it will take time to review the information and prepare your responses. You must get the information back to your attorney promptly so they have enough time to review the information. If you deny a fact and the other side later proves the fact, then you might have to pay them for any expenses incurred in proving that fact.
In divorce cases, the process often starts with a request for the production of documents to get written verification of various facts of the case. In some cases we will need to do further discovery through interrogatories and depositions. We’ll discuss which ones to utilize based on your case.
When evaluating the marital assets and liabilities, professional experts such as accountants and business valuators may be consulted to determine the value of certain property including the marital home, retirement assets (including loans or distributions), stocks, privately held business interests, and other significant assets and debts. Often times, financial records such as bank account statements and financial statements, reveal any abnormal banking transactions.
As with most legal matters, obtaining relevant information is crucial. Throughout the entire legal proceeding we work closely with our clients to ensure the gathering of all the correct and necessary information.
Questions about the information we gather during the discovery phase, privacy policies or what we share & with whom?
Our attorneys can help you through the process, contact us today for more info.