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Step by Step Explanation of The Discovery Process

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The Discovery Process
Young lawyer doing case work
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“Discovery” is a legal mechanism designed for gathering information about either party to the divorce. During discovery you have five methods that are used to gain information from the other party before going to divorce court.

If you use discovery correctly, you can find out what arguments the other party intends to use at trial and prepare a better defense. The discovery process can be time consuming, expensive and, at times frustrating. It may be the only means you have of obtaining information you will need that is admissible in court. That makes the process worth the effort.

There are five steps to the discovery process. Although states and their laws may vary during the discovery process, the five steps below are common and will probably become a part of your divorce. Each method will be discussed in detail throughout this article.

  • Disclosure: Both parties request certain items from the other party. The list of items is sent to the other side and they must respond within 30 days.
  • Interrogatories: This is a list of questions that you send to the opposing side. Most states set limits on how many questions and the response time is thirty days.
  • Admissions of Fact: This written list of facts is directed at the other party. The party receiving the list of facts is asked to either admit to or deny each fact.
  • Request for Production: Used to obtain documents such as bank statements, statements of income or any documents you feel will benefit your case.
  • Depositions: During a deposition you will take sworn testimony from the opposing party and any witnesses involved. Anything said during a deposition can be used in court should an agreement not be met and you go to divorce court.

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