Discovery – What It Is and Why It Matters

discovery

Discovery is essentially an information-gathering tool in a Divorce Case.  Discovery is how you investigate a divorce case.  Every divorce case has things the parties disagree on and things they agree on. The goal of the discovery process is to narrow the number of the contested issues and discover certain relevant information pertinent to those issues.  In other words, you are trying to find out exactly what everyone is fighting about, and get the evidence that will support your side of the argument.

In a divorce case, one of the most powerful things you can do is discover hidden assets.  However, the rules governing the discovery process are quite technical and difficult to effectively navigate without specialized training. There are several important information gathering tools that an experienced attorney may use in a divorce case:

 

Interrogatories. Interrogatories are a series of questions served on the opposing party that have to be answered under oath.  Interrogatories must be fully answered in writing unless there are legal grounds to make an objection.

Requests for Admission. Requests for admission are served onto the opposing party requiring them to admit or deny a list of pertinent facts related to the case.

Requests for Production. Requests for production are served as a list of individual requests for documents and other physical evidence.  Generally, the requests include things such as banking statements, tax information, and other documents that may benefit a client’s case.

Depositions. Depositions are an opportunity to obtain sworn and recorded statements from parties and witnesses.  Information obtained by depositions often points where to look for additional hidden information.  Sworn testimony can also be used to prove the case in court or impeach testifying witnesses.

Subpoenas. Subpoenas are orders sent by attorneys to obtain information from those who are not a party to the divorce case.  For example you can subpoena bank records, off shore accounts, and even medical records.  The third party must either comply with the subpoena, or file a motion to quash the subpoena and make arguments to the court as to why they should not be required to comply with the subpoena.

 


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