In order to achieve a fair outcome in a divorce, it is important that parties have access to financial information and evidence about the other party.
In some cases, a party may try to conceal assets to avoid fair property distribution. Or a party may attempt to hide income to reduce child or spousal support obligations, which are based in part on each party’s income.
So how do you obtain evidence and financial information relevant to the divorce?
Discovery in divorce cases
During divorce proceedings, parties are entitled to conduct discovery. Discovery in divorce is a process for disclosing or obtaining evidence in the other party’s possession.
Ordinarily, parties in New York are required to make an initial full financial disclosure. In other words, parties exchange a form that lists their income, assets and other financial information.
Beyond the financial disclosure, parties can request that the other party produce relevant documents. A party may, for example, request financial documents like bank statements, or a party may ask for documents about the other party’s fitness as a parent or conduct during the marriage.
Parties can also submit written questions, known as interrogatories, which the other party must answer in writing under oath. It is also possible to have the other party sit for a deposition, in which the party must answer under oath live questions from an attorney.
Importance of discovery
Discovery is a critical part of many divorces. It is a means to obtain relevant evidence and prevent the other party from concealing facts.
The assistance of a knowledge attorney in discovery is important, both to ensure that you obtain needed evidence and to assist in responding to the other party’s requests for information.