The divorce process includes many steps, from filing the initial petition to making sure the final decree of divorce gets signed and filed. A step taken in most divorce and child custody cases is discovery. Discovery is a process by which your attorney can find out the proof the other party has and may intend to use at the final hearing. The process can also allow you to uncover paperwork or proof in the possession of the other party that you will use at the final hearing. There are many different types of discovery, and each has its own particular use.
Requests for production of documents is a type of discovery that allows you to ask for specific documentation in the possession or control of the other party. This type of discovery is especially helpful for financial documentation. Paystubs, retirement account statements, bank statements, and credit card statements can all be requested through this process. When attempting to set alimony or child support, the requests to discover income information will be especially important. In cases where division of assets is at issue, it can be vital to make sure to obtain accurate and up-to-date information about balances in retirement accounts and bank accounts. Requests for production can achieve these goals.
Interrogatories asks the other party to articulate various facts, arguments, strategies for the trial, and are done in writing. Interrogatories can be used to force the other party to set out exactly why he or she believes that, for example, she should have sole custody, and the proof she believes she has to support this argument. These can be essential in helping your attorney build your defense, as it allows your attorney to carefully craft your court strategy to specifically respond to the answers provided in the interrogatories.
Depositions are an in-person type of discovery. Your attorney will have the opportunity to sit down with the other party and ask him or her questions, which must be answered under oath. A big advantage to depositions is that it allows your attorney to ask follow-up questions immediately. Depositions may be necessary in cases where you believe the other party will not be completely forthcoming in other forms of discovery, or will attempt to be evasive.Discovery is a highly important tool that your attorney will need to use to help build your case. We have extensive experience in determining which type of discovery is necessary and appropriate for each case. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 for an appointment to talk about your case and strategy.