Discovery in Divorce

At Gibson Law Group, our attorneys consider discovery to be one of the most important aspects of your case. We work extremely hard to identify and collect all the information and documents across the issues that are related to your case.

As part of our discovery process, we conduct a thorough interview with our clients to gain a deeper understanding of everything from their employment history to retirement interests. As a result of this foundation, we are able to use the various discovery tools more effectively as a whole.

Divorce cases typically make use of the following discovery tools: interrogatories, requests for production of documents, depositions and subpoenas.

A written interrogatory provides the attorney with the opportunity to ask the other party any number of questions. Among the questions an attorney may ask is for the other party to explain to the court why she should have primary custody of the children. In a typical interrogatory, a question might be formulated as: "Please give me a detailed breakdown of all of your income sources or funds.".

Document production requests are exactly what their name implies: a request to obtain a particular document or set of documents. The other party's text messages, emails, medical records, bank statements, employment contracts, tax returns, etc., can all be requested by your attorney. In addition, a lawyer can also request recordings and photographs from the other party.

A subpoena may be issued for documents, photographs, and recordings. This  is a legal document that requests that certain documents be produced by a thirty party, meaning a party or entity (such as a corporation) who is not part of the lawsuit. As an example, if your attorney believes that the opposing party received a bonus, or was disciplined at work, he or she can request that the employer provide you with those documents directly, rather than relying on the opposing party to provide you with all the documentation you need. In order to follow up on incomplete or partial discovery responses, a subpoena duces tecum is an excellent means of following up.

Taking a deposition is a procedure where a witness subject to the deposition is ordered to sit in front of an attorney with a court reporter between them and answer all of the questions that are asked. This is the same as putting a person in the witness box for a court hearing. After the deposition, the court reporter produces a report that can be used in the witness' capacity as a defense against the claims they are asked at a trial. 

It is imperative that you properly prepare yourself for trial in order to obtain the best outcome. To do this, you need to combine all of these tools. Here is how it works. Firstly, you need to sit down with your lawyer and discuss the facts of your case. A discovery request will then be drafted by your attorney, which can include interrogatories and documents production requests. A subpoena will be issued as appropriate if any deficiencies in the answers are found in the responses when the other party replies to those requests. Having reviewed the responses, your attorney will be able to depose the other party and any third parties, as needed, once the responses have been reviewed.

During the discovery process, you should be aware of everything the opposing party is going to say, as well as all the documents she will be presenting to the court when it comes to your divorce case. By the time you go to a hearing, you should have all the information you need. Using these discovery tools properly is the key to avoiding surprises and building the strongest case you will be able to bring to court.

It is highly recommended that you contact Gibson Law Group for any questions regarding the discovery process. Contact us online or directly at (717) 344-5525 to schedule a consultation.

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