In order for a divorce to get completed, information has to be gathered from all parties involved. Because one side, or both, may have animosity towards the other, information might be withheld. Therefore, the discovery process is in place so each side can legally gather relevant information about the other, mainly facts. For example, it can be used to acquire information about the other person’s possessions. Witnesses can also be involved, if a lawyer believes they have information that can be beneficial to them.
The divorce discovery process allows for parties to obtain documents and other tangible evidence that are relevant to the case. The states have their rules about what methods can be used for discovery. They are in place to bring order to the process, and also to hold each side accountable for the information they provide. For example, if one were to send false information to the other side, this would be grounds for perjury.
It also provides each side with rights where they can object to certain questions if they are found to be unlawful. However, what can be requested is very broad and can even go outside the scope of the case. Because it’s not always clear what can be kept confidential and what has to be released, a dispute may have to be settled in court over the matter.
While prosecution is not a part of the discovery process, a lawyer can use admissions and interrogatories to gain information under oath. For example, a lawyer can ask the other spouse whether or not he or she did have an affair. If they admitted to the act, then further questions could be asked to gain more details about it.
A number of methods can be used for discovery. In addition to interrogatories, others include a request of documents, deposition, admissions of fact, and a request for production. A subpoena can be issued by the court to a witness that a lawyer wants to question. A subpoena duces tecum refers to a witness having to hand over documents to one of the parties involved.
Anyone who is filing for divorce, it helps to have a lawyer or expert by your side to seek advice from. This is true even if you are doing an uncontested divorce, as even that process can become overwhelming. They will give you advice on how to handle the discovery process when the other side wants to question you.