What will discovery discover?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in family law on Friday, February 19, 2016.

One of the legal tools used during a divorce is known as discovery. This is the process both sides use to obtain the information they need to argue their side of the case and to create a reasonable and fair divorce settlement.

In divorce matters, it is primarily used for obtaining financial information. In order for both parties to come to a consensus, it is essential that they have all the financial information they need understand the couple’s financial status. Discovery can be obtained by written questions known as interrogatories or with live questioning by an attorney, which is known as a deposition.

Interrogatories will typically request specific information about a wide variety of matters. During a deposition, the party being deposed will be accompanied by their attorney and will be questioned by the opposing attorney. The proceedings are made under oath and are documented by a court reporter.

During a civil deposition for a family court in Boone County, you have to answer the questions asked and have no right to assert Fifth Amendment rights to silence, as it is not a criminal proceeding and the Fifth Amendment does not apply.

You can consult with your attorney, and they can object to the question for the record, but you will still have to provide an answer. Because these questions are asked under oath and are recorded, it is absolutely essential that you answer them honestly. Being deposed is not a pleasant experience for most people.

Should your divorce go to trial, you can be asked about the same topics during the trial and if your answers change, your credibility can be seriously damaged. If the court suspects you of perjury, you can be punished by the court with severe sanctions.

In a divorce case, your credibility is paramount when questions of child custody or child support are at issue, and damaging your credibility by lying under oath could lead a judge to question all of your positions. You could lose a custody determination or child support question because of this.

Source: wotv4women.com, “Discovery during divorce: What is means for you,” Gail Saukas, February 15, 2016

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