Divorce can be a long process, and there are many important steps along the way. These steps may seem cumbersome or unnecessary at the time when you are in the middle of your own divorce, but each step is designed to help the court to make a fair decision when the parties reach the final hearing. One of the important steps is called discovery. Discovery can take many forms, such as interrogatories, requests for production of documents, or depositions. The aim of discovery is to allow both sides to gather information from each other. This information can be documents that your spouse must produce, a sworn statement as to their version of certain events, or lists of the witnesses they may call at trial. In discovery, you can request any information or document that is reasonably calculated to lead to evidence that is admissible at trial. Discovery will allow you to obtain the information you need to help bolster your case and help question the position that your spouse takes at trial. Clearly discovery is an essential step and there are certain actions you should take to help maximize the effectiveness of your discovery.
One way to maximize the effectiveness of your discovery is to make sure you have narrowed down the issues for your divorce as much as possible. For example, if the main disagreement between you and your spouse is child custody, then you will want to ensure that your discovery focuses on those issues. Child custody questions can ask about what your spouse’s plans are for the child’s day to day schedule, where he or she intends to reside with the child, or what his or her proposal is for visitation, just to name a few potentially useful questions.
Another way to maximize effectiveness of discovery is to consider alternative methods to obtaining documents or information. These alternative methods typically involve electronic access to records. For example, if you are asking for certain medical records, it may be easier to have your spouse sign a HIPAA release to allow you direct access to those records instead of getting voluminous hard copies.
Finally, maximize the usefulness of discovery by considering which types of discovery would be the most effective for your case. Not every case will require lengthy depositions or long interrogatories, but can a spouse can instead get the answers he or she requires from simple requests for production.
If you are facing a divorce, you need experienced representation. Call us at 651-413-9568 for a consultation to talk about how we can help you attain your goals.