Filing for divorce is a decision that is difficult for many to make. Not only is it challenging to end a relationship, but the dissolution of your marriage can be a lengthy legal process. From diving assets to diving custody, there are many proceedings you will need to endure, including the discovery process. If you’re undergoing a divorce and feel lost, reaching out to a Los Angeles divorce attorney is essential to help guide and fight for you during the legal battle.
What Is the Discovery Process?
Though the term “discovery process” sounds intimidating, it’s a standard process many divorcing couples undergo. The purpose is to collect as much information about each spouse in order to fairly distribute assets. The lawyers you and your spouse hire to represent you will do the bulk of the work during the discovery procedure, requesting information and scouring the evidence.
There are many different aspects of your life that are discoverable, including all financial and employment records, tests, criminal records, driving history, and credit card statements.
What Should I Expect?
The discovery process can be lengthy and involves many steps you may or may not be subject to. The first step in any process is formal disclosures, in which you and your spouse need to provide a wealth of different financial documents. These include bank statements, investments, property value, insurance payouts, and records from any businesses you may own.
Next, you will have to endure interrogatories, which are essential written questions you must answer under oath about your general history and financial records. It is best to have your lawyer present, as you can consult with them.
While there are numerous other proceedings that can occur during the discovery process, not all of them will happen. This includes admission of facts, depositions, subpoenas, and requests for productions.
Generally, these cases do not go to trial, but it is recommended you prepare yourself for the possibility of appearing in court.
What Happens if Someone Does Not Comply?
If you or your spouse choose not to comply with or lies during the discovery process, serious consequences can occur. The person who delays the process or fabricates the truth can be penalized, including fines or, in some cases, jail time.
Being truthful with your lawyer is crucial, as they can use the right information to fight for you during the process. However, lying to them about assets or records will only hurt your case and make it difficult for your attorney to the best possible outcome for your case.
If you’re enduring a divorce, don’t go at it alone. Contact our experienced attorneys at the Zitser Family Law Group, APC, for help navigating the discovery process.