As part of the discovery process during divorce, Civil Rules of Procedure provide mechanisms by which parties may obtain information from the other party and from third parties. The most common tools in the discovery toolbox are interrogatories request for production, Request for Admissions and Depositions.
Interrogatories are questions asked by one party in a divorce of the opposing party. Many jurisdictions limit these numbers to approximately 40 questions without leave of court. Generally, these questions cover assets, debts, and faults of a divorce. Questions must be answered truthfully under a sworn statement.
Request for Production provides the opportunity to request documents not otherwise available to one party. Examples would be tax returns, proof of income, retirement account information, banking accounts, and credit card statements.
Requests for Admissions allows a party to ask the other to either admit or deny a fact. For example, “admit or deny that you have had sexual relations with any person other than your spouse during the marriage.” Requests are bound by tight time limits and must be answered within those time frames or otherwise they are “deemed admitted” by the court.
Finally, round out the more common tools available to attorneys. Depositions are questions asked under oath, in the presence of a court reporter. Depositions can be taken of parties or non-parties.
All elements of discovery have importance only weighted by their use. Together or individually, each discovery lever can be a valuable tool pulled and ultimately used by savvy legal practitioners