A Texas Divorce and the Discovery Process
The divorce process can be arduous, but each step in the process represents an important component that helps ensure the outcome is “just and right.” Because Texas is a community property state, the court determines how your marital property will be divided based on what it deems to be just and right. This means that the division of your property may not be strictly equal, which makes the discovery process a critical element of your divorce proceedings.
Discovery and Your Divorce
During discovery, both parties provide each other with the relevant information requested of them. This process is especially important for the financial component of your divorce, the division of property, which is typically the most contested element of any divorce (other than issues related to child custody).
There are five types of written discovery that are commonly used in divorce cases:
Request for Disclosure
These are the standard questions that are presented in all civil suits. These questions relate to identifying those people who have information that is relevant to the case, identifying expert witnesses, and detailing the legal contentions involved.
Interrogatories represent each side’s set of up-to-25 questions about relevant issues that require responses. These questions are usually geared toward finding out detailed information about finances, including details about bank accounts and financial holdings. Interrogatories are an especially useful discovery tool in which you can raise nearly any relevant question.
Request for Production of Documents
This is a discovery tool that requests copies of important and relevant documents, which are usually finance-related.
Request for Admission
These are statements presented to opposing counsel that must be either admitted or denied. The respondent is then committed to that response, which helps to solidify the facts.
Sworn Inventory and Appraisement
This discovery mechanism is unique to divorce, and it requires the respondent to list all of his or her known assets and to characterize them as either community property or separate property. This document is signed under oath, so deliberately hiding assets can reap the court’s punitive remedy.
Oral discovery typically refers to a deposition, which is a pretrial verbal examination of witnesses and/or of the parties themselves. The deposed party verbally responds to the questions posed under oath (while being recorded by a court reporter). In Texas, a witness’s deposition can stand in for his or her testimony before the court. A deposition is an extremely useful tool because it locks responses into place.
If You Are Facing Divorce, You Need an Experienced Central Texas Divorce Attorney
The divorce discovery process is a critical tool in any divorce. It is also a complicated process that requires skilled legal guidance. The dedicated legal team at the The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the experience, knowledge, and determination to help skillfully guide your case through the discovery process and toward its most positive resolution. We are here to help, so please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.