When New Jersey spouses are in the middle of divorce litigation, they will need to learn about the other’s situation. Accordingly, they will engage in a process called discovery where they exchange documents and information. Here is what you need to know.
The process of discovery
Discovery will start when each party makes specific requests for documents from the other party. You cannot just tell the other spouse to give you all documents. Instead, you need to request specific documents. In addition, you can also ask specific questions of the other spouse. In turn, they have the ability to make the same requests of you. Finally, each spouse may be subject to a deposition where the other spouse’s lawyer can ask them a series of questions under oath on the record.
Why being honest is important
Discovery can be an intense and grueling process. For spouses who think they can hide something, chances are that it will come out during discovery. It is best to be honest and let the facts come out because hiding things can make the situation worse. The information that each party obtains in discovery will help the court decide issues like asset division, alimony and child support. Thus, if you end up being caught in a lie, it would look very bad to a judge.
If your divorce case is at the point where it requires discovery, you need professional help to obtain information from the other side, and you only get one chance. A family law attorney may know the right questions to ask the other side. Your attorney may also help you deal with the incoming questions and requests for information.