The Discovery process refers to the formal exchange of information between spouses in the context of litigation. The discovery process is important because it aims to put both parties at an even level in terms of information and knowledge on various aspects, so that the right decisions can be made. And the process works because each party is legally bound to furnish information requested by the other party during the discovery process.
Need for Discovery Process
Divorce is never an overnight decision. As the incompatibilities and other issues continue to remain unresolved over a period of time, divorce is often considered as a last resort. This period leading up to the idea of divorce gives considerable time to the spouse contemplating divorce to take steps to hide assets, show business losses and other such activities. It is difficult to believe that a hitherto loving spouse can do this. But, unfortunately this is a fact many people have experienced firsthand.
Hence the discovery process is important to make sure that both spouses are on the same page. Without the process, it is possible that one spouse may get inadvertently cheated out of what is rightfully his/her share of the marital assets.
Besides the question of monetary assets, the discovery process can unearth information that can be used to settle other post-divorce issues like child support and custody too. Even if the issues are not resolved, the process ensures that both parties have the correct facts, when it comes to litigation, which can help speed up the litigation and thus help keep the costs down.
How Does the Discovery Process Work?
The discovery process can employ a wide variety of techniques including oral and written depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories. Either spouse may request the other for information through the process. Unless the information is ‘privileged’, disclosure is mandatory. Willful non-disclosure or incorrect disclosure can cause the judge to issue sanctions.