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What is Discovery in a Divorce?

Posted On February 7, 2022 In Divorce

Discovery is not one particular item in a divorce. Rather it is an ongoing process that occurs after the filing of divorce and before a divorce trial or settlement. The name “discovery” refers to the formal process by which spouses’ attorneys request information and evidence from one another. This information may be financial or any other factual type concerning the spouse’s relationship to the children, adultery, abuse, neglect, or another relevant divorce issue.

Why is Discovery Used?

Discovery allows both spouses and their attorneys a better understanding of the overall divorce picture and any evidentiary proof available to support their cases in the upcoming settlement or trial procedures. Depending on spouses, their mindsets, communication ability, and willingness to cooperate, discovery can be a minor hassle or a lengthy and expensive battle.

What Determines the Amount of Discovery?

The amount and necessity of formal discovery are proportionate to divorcing spouses’ financial assets, property and debt division, and child care needs. If a divorce is an asset and debt-heavy and parents have complex scheduling and parenting concerns, both sides must work diligently and provide honest and accurate information in an upfront and timely manner. When spouses fail to produce discovery requests, there are courtroom penalties and consequences.

Are There Different Forms of Discovery?

The different forms of discovery include:

  • Interrogatories;
  • Requests for production of documents;
  • Requests for admission;
  • Depositions; and
  • Subpoenas.

Discovery begins after a divorce is initiated. Most discovery requests must be answered within twenty-eight days.

What are Interrogatories?

Interrogatories are written questions answered under oath. Most are general questions about a spouse’s education, work history, assets, income, personal property, and insurance policies.

What are Requests for Production of Documents?

Requests for producing documents are formal requests to provide documents containing financial information or any photographs, videos, emails, and written or recorded statements made about the divorce.

What are Requests for Admission?

Requests for admission are questions stating facts asking for a confirmation or denial. These are facts that are generally not in dispute between spouses.

What are Subpoenas?

Subpoenas are used to request information from third parties. A subpoena can request documents or command the person receiving the subpoena to appear to testify.

What are Depositions?

A deposition is scheduled testimony, under oath, of a witness, outside the courtroom. It is recorded and used as a tool to determine how a witness will testify at trial or to contradict a witness’s testimony later at trial.

Points to Remember During a Divorce Discovery

Discovery can be a stressful process. However, it is essential to remember that your attorney is there to help you through the process. Always be forthcoming with your attorney and with your discovery answers to your spouse’s attorney. Information discovered later could not only damage your case, but your attorney cannot protect or defend you from documents or knowledge that you withhold from them.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Arizona

When you need an experienced Chandler divorce attorney to guide you through the discovery process, contact the attorneys at Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC. We want to answer your discovery questions and address your concerns about your upcoming or pending divorce. Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, is a full-service family law firm and can help you with any of your divorce, asset division, and child custody issues.

Reach out to Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, online or by phone to now schedule your consultation.