Divorce and Surviving the Discovery Process

Divorce and Surviving the Discovery Process

The action for divorce has now been filed with the Court. You need to know what to expect next. It is called the discovery process.

This is where a whole bunch of bad things can happen, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Your attorney can make a great deal of money by putting all of your discovery documents and answers together, because you did not do it on your own.
  1. The opposing attorney is filing Motions to Compel Discovery against you, because you did not provide complete discovery.
  1. Your attorney — or your spouse’s attorney — has decided upon a “scorched earth” divorce by engaging in far more discovery than necessary.

Do yourself a favor. Be inconvenienced. Do all of the hard work of compiling your discovery documents on your own and provide them to your attorney in an organized fashion. You can save thousands of dollars by doing this.

You must also stay in control of the scope of the discovery process. How do you do that? By having detailed conversations with your divorce attorney and continuing to have these conversations as discovery progresses. Always ask: “What is the purpose of our seeking this information?” There is always an answer. If you don’t get an answer – or a good answer – you need to press the issue. Continue to ask.

Discovery comes in many forms. Here are just a few:

  1. Interrogatories: These are written questions you have to answer under oath.
  2. Production of Documents: This is the major part of discovery, where you produce requested categories of documents.
  3. Depositions: These typically come in two forms – taking a live deposition of someone, which is similar to being in Court, or a deposition in which you seek documents, such as bank accounts and credit cards, from a person or business.

You can see how the costs can get out of control if you do not manage your own divorce. Take charge, stay invested in your divorce case, and never get behind in your discovery obligations.

On rare occasions in which discovery is not provided, the Court can issue both financial sanctions (attorneys’ fees) and substantive sanctions, such as dismissing parts of your divorce case. That is something that should never happen, so always cooperate with your experienced divorce attorney.

It is far better to stay on the offensive than have to constantly be on the defensive.

An experienced attorney is often the most valuable asset you have during a divorce. He or she can help you understand how the choices you make will affect the outcome of the case. SIEGELLAW is here to help. Call us at 410-792-2300 or fill out the form on this page to request additional information.