We're Hiring! Click Here to Learn More

What Is Discovery & Why Is It Necessary?

Going through a divorce or post-divorce litigation involves many steps, but one of the most crucial is the discovery process. During this phase, both sides work to uncover the facts that may impact the outcome of the case. This phase is extensive and often feels overwhelming, due to the depth and breadth of information required.

No one enjoys this process; it’s invasive, time-consuming, and emotionally taxing. However, it’s an unavoidable and essential aspect of legal proceedings in divorce cases. Trusting your legal team to guide you is crucial because failing to engage in discovery fully can lead to severe consequences, including the court imposing sanctions.

Why the Discovery Process Exists 

Discovery in divorce cases serves as the information-gathering stage. Here, each side collects evidence and information from the other. This phase helps clarify the assets, debts, and potentially affects child custody disputes. It ensures that both parties have the same access to the facts, which can often lead to more productive negotiations. The tools used in discovery may include interrogatories, requests for admission, requests for production, depositions, and subpoenas. Each one plays a critical role in building a comprehensive view of the marital estate and the individual positions of the parties involved. 

  • Interrogatories require written responses that are sworn under oath.
  • Requests for production ensure that all relevant documents are shared. 
  • Depositions provide a platform for verbal testimony under oath, offering valuable insights into each party’s perspective and evidence prior to trial. 
  • Subpoenas obtain information from third parties via testimony or document production.

What to Prepare For 

Complying with discovery requests is not optional. If a party fails to respond truthfully or within the given timeframe, they risk facing penalties. These can range from fines to attorney’s fees, to even a default judgment against the noncompliant party. The goal of discovery is not just to prepare for trial but to encourage both sides to fully disclose the facts. This level of transparency is necessary for making informed decisions and reaching a fair and equitable resolution for all involved. The court takes non-compliance seriously, with the potential for sanctions that can significantly affect the case outcome. 

An unfavorable ruling or awarding legal fees to the other side can be devastating. Therefore, engaging fully and honestly in the discovery process is a legal obligation and a strategic necessity. The integrity of the judicial process and the fairness of the final outcome of your case depend heavily on the completeness and accuracy of the discovery process. Without it, achieving a just resolution would be significantly more challenging for all parties involved.

Discover Competent Legal Representation With Empowered Family Law 

Working through a divorce has several legal steps, and discovery is just one of them. Understandably, this process can feel overwhelming. Our team is here to support you through each stage, ensuring you’re fully informed and prepared. We encourage you to reach out if you’re facing a divorce and have concerns about the discovery process or any other aspect of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you through this difficult time. 

The following two tabs change content below.

Empowered Family Law, PC

With Empowered Family Law, you get an advocate who sees difficulties as opportunities for growth and emphasizes healing and problem-solving no matter how challenging your case.

Latest posts by Empowered Family Law, PC (see all)