When it comes to divorce proceedings, the discovery process is the part where your attorney and your divorcing spouse's attorney request and obtain pertinent information from one another. One mechanism for accomplishing this task is called a Request for Disclosure. The information disclosed tends to represent the meat and potatoes of divorce cases. It can play a critical role in the process. A new 2020 Texas rule related to disclosure is attempting to streamline the process.
Request for Disclosure
Before the new rule that came into effect in 2020, divorce attorneys either included specific requests for disclosures in their divorce petitions or sent them separately. Now, both parties must provide each other with the information specified in the new rule without receiving a request to do so. The goal is to expedite the discovery process. However, it is important to recognize that not every divorcing spouse – even upon official request to do so – follows through by providing the requested documentation in full (or even at all). Because the monetary issues inherent to your divorce will likely hinge on the discovery you obtain, your attorney may have to dig deeper. (Read more about discovery: The 5 Most Common Types of Discovery Used in a Texas Divorce)
Under the new rule, divorcing spouses must provide each other with all of the following (with no disclosure requests necessary):
All documents that relate to real estate
All documents that relate to the individual's employee benefits, such as a pension, profit-sharing, or any other retirement plans (including the most recent account statements from each)
All documents that relate to insurance, such as health, life, liability, and casualty policies
The most recent statements for all accounts at financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, savings and loans, and brokerage firms
Further, when the case involves child support or spousal support, the following financials must automatically be included in this initial disclosure:
The spouse's employee benefits that are also available for the child or other spouse, including coverage under the employee's medical and health insurance (Read more about Keeping Your Health Insurance after a Divorce)
Income tax returns for the previous two years (or the individual's W-2, Form 1099, or Schedule K-1 for the same period – if tax returns were not filed
The spouse's two most-recent payroll receipts
This duty to disclose can be vital to your ability to obtain divorce terms that protect your financial rights post-divorce. The withholding of complete financial information can be challenging to detect and prove. Your dedicated family law attorney will help ensure that you receive all the financial information you need to move forward with confidence.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney Today
If you are facing a divorce, discovery is a key component. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a dedicated family law attorney with considerable experience successfully navigating even the most complicated discovery processes. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.