What Are the Methods of Discovery Used in Divorce?

Sad woman

Divorce is in itself an emotionally draining process irrespective of the duration and specifics of your marriage. This is not made any less painful if your ex starts hiding crucial information, which will influence the outcome of different issues. These include the distribution of marital assets, child custody and alimony, among others. People who choose to handle their divorce often fail when they realize there is nothing much they can do to oblige their exes to divulge different types of information.

An experienced divorce attorney in Salt Lake City, however, will employ different legal tactics to ensure all the information relevant to your case is produced. Discovery is the most common tactic used in divorce. In discovery, your ex will be legally bound to present information that will impact the outcome of your case. The following are the methods of discovery used in divorce proceedings.

Interrogatories

These are written questions. Your ex will be required to write down the answers to the questions under oath. These written responses can then be used as proof in your divorce proceedings. There are some standard interrogatories in most states. These ask your ex to identify lay and expert witnesses and a brief synopsis of their testimonies. Supplemental interrogatories, on the other hand, are generally limited to about 50 questions, which probe particular facts relevant to your case.

Request for Inspection and Production

These are designed to get documents from your ex. When furnished with a request for inspection and production, your ex should avail documents in his or her possession, control or custody for scrutiny and copying. The standard documents availed in this discovery method include tax returns, receipts photos, bank and income statements, and property titles. The documents can also be sourced from a third party like your ex’s attorney, banker or state record keeper.

Request for Admission

Couple signing a divorce contract

This closely resembles an interrogatory. Unlike the latter which uses questions that are open-ended, a request for admission only includes closed-ended questions. They only require “yes” or “no” answers and are meant to get your spouse to admit or deny different elements of your divorce. Most states have no limit on the general number of questions you can include on your request for admission. They, however, limit questions related to factual issues to twenty.

Deposition

This method of discovery allows you to have your ex as a witness in your divorce. He or she will be required to answer different questions under oath orally. You will need to pay a court transcriber to attend the deposition and record the questions and answers. This generally makes the process expensive. Depositions are thus typically used in high-level divorce proceedings.

Divorce is not an overnight decision. It often follows months or even years of different issues that remain unresolved, and is often the last resort. As such, it is common for spouses to use the period of strife in their marriage to hide different assets and information, which will hurt the other party in the event of a divorce. The above methods of discovery are essential to ensure you get a fair hearing in your divorce and make the transition as easy as possible for you.