All You Need to Know about the Divorce Discovery Process
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.
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.
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.
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.
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