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How does discovery work in divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2019 | Divorce |

Like any court case, when you go through divorce, you present an argument before an Alabama judge. But to build an argument, you need evidence that supports your defense.

Discovery is a significant part of a contested divorce. You and your spouse use this time to collect and exchange information about your marriage and your possessions. You then present this information to the judge, ensuring a fair ruling on property division, child custody, alimony, child support and anything else connected to your divorce.

Providing each side with all necessary information

Discovery is meant to give each spouse and the judge all information related to the divorce. Each spouse must share any documents connected to their marriage with each other. These documents can include information for bank accounts, income, separate property, debts and more.

If you don’t feel that you have received all the relevant information, you can file a motion to have your spouse provide you with hidden documents. If you don’t receive them after filing the motion, you can ask the court to penalize your spouse.

Building a case strategy

After sharing documents, you and your spouse can send each other questions called interrogatories. These questions ask your spouse, under threat of perjury, to honestly answer questions about the divorce from your spouse’s viewpoint.

Then you can each record depositions. A court reporter takes down the sworn statement of anybody deposed, including you, your spouse and any witnesses you call. Your attorneys will use these depositions to help build their strategies in the courtroom.

Ensuring a fair outcome to divorce

Discovery can be a long, stressful process. You and your spouse will have to find any document connected to your marriage. Then you share these documents with each other and the court. But doing this work helps make sure you receive a fair share of your marital property.

One of the main goals of discovery is to make sure that each spouse receives a fair judgment. It can bring out many hidden facts in a divorce. If one spouse has hidden assets or has lied about income, discovery can reveal these to the court, making sure one spouse doesn’t get an unfair share of property division, child support or alimony.

Being thorough with discovery helps you and your attorney defend your interests in divorce.