This blog is the third in a series covering the Divorce Process. Specifically, this blog looks at Discovery; what is Discovery, its purpose in the divorce and a few of the common types of discovery filings used in divorce proceedings. If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Williamsburg, York County, or New Kent County, and you are required to answer Discovery, please contact my office and schedule a free consultation.
What is Discovery?
Discovery is a general term that includes a variety of filings to obtain information and documentation from the opposing party. The most common filings are Requests for Interrogatories and Productions of Documents. Discovery though may also include Requests for Admissions, subpoenas and releases for private documentation. The purpose of discovery in a divorce is to gather information about the other party, the factual basis for the grounds of divorce and finally information on the equitable assets of the marriage. When combined this assists the parties in narrowing the issues in the divorce.
Interrogatories & Production of Documents
Interrogatories are a series of questions which the opposing party must answer under oath. Typically these include questions about the financial and equitable matters between the parties, but may also include questions concerning the grounds for divorce. Requests for Production of Documents are a request for the opposing party to produce documents either relating to the Interrogatories or other relevant documents to the Divorce.
Requests for Admissions
Requests for admissions are also useful in a divorce. A Request for Admissions is simply a list of true or false questions that the opposing party must answer under oath. Like most areas of discovery, requests for admissions allow the parties to narrow the issues in a relatively inexpensive means.
Subpoena Duces Tecum
A subpoena duces tecum, or subpoena for production of evidence, is another means of discovery that can be used during a divorce. Virginia law allows attorneys to issue subpoenas without the Court’s permission; however, an opposing party may object through a Motion to Quash, and a hearing must be held to determine whether the party whom the subpoena is issued against must produce the documents.
Finally, Releases. These are simply authorizations signed by the opposing party that allow the party requesting the documents to go directly to a source, using the release, to obtain what maybe privileged documentation. This can sometimes result in useful information regarding both equitable matters in the divorce as well as the fault based grounds for the divorce.
Discovery is an important part of the divorce process. It’s purpose is to gather information regarding equitable assets and grounds of divorce. It allows a party to narrow the issues in the divorce. There are a variety of discovery filings in a divorce, the most common are request for interrogatories and production of documents. If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Williamsburg, York County, or New Kent County please contact Waltrip Firm, PC for a free consultation.