All You Need to Know about the Divorce Discovery Process

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Many times, in order to win the situation and obtain a favorable final verdict, a spouse might attempt to keep his or her assets undisclosed or hidden from the law during a divorce litigation process. In California and most other states, the law provides divorcing partners with a powerful legal tool known as the ‘discovery process’ that can effectively help them in uncovering the hidden income and assets of their spouses. The discovery process can be broadly classified into three basic categories or forms.

Written discovery

Interrogatories or ‘requests for admission’ are a set of written questions that you can present to your spouse, and demand from him a factual version of your claims as answers in writing. In other words, by using this tool you can ask your partner to admit to certain statements that you believe are true. You can either present pre printed questionnaires referred to as ‘form interrogatories’ or design you own set of questions known as ‘special interrogatories’, that are relevant to your specific case. Furthermore, you can also employ the use of ‘Requests for admission’ which demand the other party to either deny or admit specific facts that are relevant to your case. 

Document production

The legal system of America entitles an individual to the right of demanding a disclosure or presentation of documents such as financial statements, tax returns, account records or loan applications that he or she believes are being deliberately concealed or withheld. In addition to printed hard copies, the court of law allows a party to further demand an access to the computer files and database of their spouse as well. There have been plenty of reported cases, wherein the stakes were extremely high for the courts to even go to the extent of asking the divorcing parties to reconstruct deleted files such as email conversations. 

Depositions

The deposition tool requires the parties to present themselves before the court and take a sworn testimony in front of a court reporter, regarding the authenticity of various facts relevant to a case. The court reporter will pen down a transcript of all the questions asked by the attorney and the oral deposition that you will be making under an oath. Such depositions can last from somewhere between an hour to more than a week.

The discovery process is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive knowledge of the evidence rules and an expertise in legal strategies. It is therefore, advised to consult a proficient attorney before moving ahead with the process.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Divorce Depositions in California – What to Expect

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce depositions (sworn evidences during the divorce proceedings) in California are not very common. Depositions can be really expensive. The fees of the lawyers for such legal procedures are quite high. Even the court reporters charge you high rates by the page for creating such transcripts and for providing you with certified and original copies. Most of the time, divorce depositions are not necessary at all because all divorce cases are not complicated and there may not be too many contested issues to deal with.

Divorce depositions are helpful if the lawyer doing it is prepared and experienced. Also, depositions can be done if the lawyer is not doing it just because it will give him the chance to make personal financial gains in terms of fees. But lawyers need to focus on issues that matter and not waste the court’s time.

Types of deposition

There are 2 types of deposition – party and witness.

  • Party deposition – The petitioner or the respondent in the divorce case is the party. A party deposition is just ‘noticed’ by one lawyer to the other with a formal written request. It may request certain documents to be produced during the deposition.
  • Witness deposition – A witness may be ‘noticed’ to appear in the deposition and provide proof or documents during the deposition. They are served a ‘deposition subpoena’.

What to expect

It is a good idea to be present during a deposition. You can and should help your lawyer during the preparation of the deposition. You would be the best person to provide your lawyer with answers or important bits of information on issues that get raised during a deposition. You will be able to determine if your spouse is lying about certain things or not.

If you are the one who the deposition is being carried out, you will have to be prepared to answer a lot of questions by the opponent lawyer. You should do your preparation well. You will be under oath so the obvious piece of advice would be, ‘be absolutely honest’. Everything you say will be recorded by the court reporter. You will get breaks where you can consult with your lawyer.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

 
No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.