In a previous article I discussed the legal obligation that both you and your soon-to-be-Ex have in terms of providing Financial Disclosure to the other. The next stage of the divorce process involves further disclosure and exploration of this nature, as part of a formal “Discovery” process.
What is “Discovery”?
The duty to provide Financial Disclosure that arises at the beginning of the divorce process is just one part of the formal “Discovery” phase in family litigation. As the name suggests, Discovery is essentially an exploration and information-gathering process, where each of you learn more about the other’s financial situation, legal position, and the strengths and weaknesses of the case. (And while every divorce involves a Discovery process, the nature and extent of this process will depend on how complex your financial situation is.)
To this end, the Discovery process also includes formal sessions – known as “Examinations for Discovery” – in which you and your Ex are allowed to pose questions to each other, with your respective answers being given under oath. You and your Ex may also make mutual formal requests to have financial or other documents be exchanged as what are known as “productions”.
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What Topics Can Be Covered?
Discovery is focused primarily – but not exclusively – on your financial issues. These can include how much you both earn, what your expenses are, the location and balance of your bank accounts, and your respective assets and debts.
Also, it should also be noted the Financial Disclosure obligation that each of you were subject to at the beginning of the divorce process is an ongoing one: you and your Ex have a continuing duty to provide additional documentation or information on any changes that have taken place since the original materials was provided.
Next article: The Settlement Conference
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