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Are there different methods of discovery in divorce?

One of the first steps divorcing couples must take after filing their initial divorce petition is the process known as discovery. Divorcing spouses and their attorneys usually compile information regarding their individual financial situation and exchange it with each other. This is typically the first step in the discovery process that will eventually lead to a marital property settlement.

The most common method of discovery is through the simple exchange of information. However, some complex or high asset divorces may require a more involved method of discovery. In these cases, there are several other ways the family court may retrieve the information needed to rule on a marital property settlement.

Even in complex divorce cases, the first step in the discovery process will usually be document production through an exchange of information. Both spouses and their attorneys will provide the family court with the financial documents necessary to start the process. If, at this point, the family court seeks more information, they can request that each spouse answer a list of questions regarding their financial situation, called interrogatories. These questions are designed to gather more accurate information by asking spouses to admit or deny facts gathered through the initial exchange of information.

In very rare cases, spouses may be asked to provide a deposition, or sworn statement, to the family court. This may be the case if there is a question of hidden assets or asset depletion by one spouse.

Most marital property settlements are reached through a simple exchange of information. However, in some rare cases, other methods of discovery must be used. It is important for individuals to understand that the greater the complexity of the divorce, the greater the likelihood that the assistance of an attorney could be of benefit.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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