Reviewing Your Spouse’s Discovery Documents
Unfortunately, some spouses attempt to hide assets before or during a divorce in order to avoid sharing them with their soon-to-be ex. If you don’t think your spouse will voluntarily disclose all financial information in your divorce, you or your attorney will need to use a formal, legal process to get information and documents. Attorneys and judges refer to this as the “discovery process.”
What is Discovery? Discovery is a process by which both parties can obtain important information related to the case before the couple goes to trial or mediation. Its function is to inform the parties and their attorneys of the information or evidence that the opposing party may use for their case, as well as assist you in building your case. It also allows one party to hold the other to what was said about the case during discovery and ensure that the truth is being upheld at all times.
In a contested divorce case, the parties involved will likely make claims at trial to support their case. Discovery can help safeguard from false or inaccurate claims from an opposing party.
Shouldn’t my attorney be the one to review any discovery documents? While your attorney can and will review any discovery documentation, it is essential that you review it carefully as well. An attorney will help you understand the legal implications involved and can provide specific counsel with relation to your case. However, they will not know the specifics or intricacies of your relationship with your spouse.
For example, if during a discovery request you find that your spouse, who typically never carries cash, began withdrawing cash regularly in small amounts. These amounts may be small enough that your attorney does not find it suspicious, but you know that it is out of character for your spouse. Your attorney will not have this level of insight into your relationship with the opposing party. Moreover, you are the guide through discovery. You will be more familiar with your accounts and know the purpose for each of those accounts.
What do I do? Use discovery requests to solicit exact information to corroborate any potential claims the opposing party may make at trial. Review any discovery documentation carefully. Look for inconsistencies in behavior and documentation. Be sure to notify your attorney of any potentially important information obtained through discovery. Remember, sometimes your specific insight about your spouse is needed to ensure the documents are reviewed properly and thoroughly.
The qualified family attorneys at the Kendrick Law Group are here to help you during your divorce proceedings. We are dedicated to providing quality legal counsel to all our clients. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you with your divorce case. 407-641-5847 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-written by: Hunter Kelly, Legal Assistant