During the divorce process, there is a step that lawyers from both sides will take referred to as “discovery.” This is a critical stage in divorce proceedings. The lawyers and judge alike can learn countless insights during discovery, and these facts will help determine what is fairest and most equitable in the divorce judgment. Here is some advice on what you should do if faced with discovery:
4 Tips for Successful Divorce Discovery
Discovery during a divorce is a pretrial process in which both parties will fully disclose information to each other regarding their income and property. During discovery, the parties are permitted to request information from the other side to bolster and support their case with accurate evidence. These discovery requests may include:
Requests for Production of Documents, such as financial statements and taxes
Requests to Admit, in which one party provides the other with statements that they must either agree or disagree with
Interrogatories that ask the parties to answer specific questions
Depositions to enable testimony under oath outside of the courtroom
All of these elements of the discovery process give you the opportunity to obtain comprehensive, in-depth details that can help establish an accurate picture of the relationship and its finances. Ultimately, this is meant to assist the judge in making an informed decision once your lawyers argue their cases. Here are some tips to make sure the discovery process goes smoothly:
Stay calm—Although this process can be intimidating at first, and it often takes quite some time to field all of the requests, you should remain calm and do your best to not get overwhelmed. You should be able to respond to requests and provide any necessary information, and if you do not have access to certain details, you can let the other party know this in your response.
Be honest and forthright—Tell the truth and do not withhold anything. If either spouse is hiding assets or information, it will likely be found at some point, and this could put your divorce settlement in jeopardy.
Cooperate and collaborate with your lawyer—Ask questions of your lawyer whenever necessary, especially if you do not understand what is being asked of you. It is better to ask a question that might seem dumb than to respond untruthfully or incorrectly. Overall, you and your lawyer should be in sync and have a single unified strategy throughout the entire divorce process.
Keep your answers consistent—If you say one thing in an interrogatory and something else during a deposition, your reliability and integrity might get called into question, which could adversely affect your case.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If you want further details about the divorce process, including the steps followed during discovery, reach out to a Wheaton, IL family law attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. The knowledgeable team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will give you the information you need so that you are fully prepared for the legal process of divorce.