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Gathering Information in a Contested Divorce Case

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Mon, 04/02/2018 - 10:30am

Spouses going through the divorce process often have lost trust in each other, and need to find out what their spouse has been doing and what their spouse is hiding.  Classic examples include the spouse that is hiding money, and the spouse that has a girlfriend or boyfriend.  Significant advantage can be gained by having access to all of the pertinent information.  Often, spouses believe that the information they need will continue to be hidden by the other spouse.  An important legal tool known as "discovery" is available to each party in a divorce case.  Today's blog will summarize the various discovery tools commonly used in divorce cases.


Interrogatories are written questions.  These questions can address anything relevant to the case, such as a request to identify the name, address and phone number of any person with whom the spouse has had a romantic relationship since the date of marriage.  The person answering the interrogatories is required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure to answer these questions under oath, subject to penalties of perjury for false answers.  If the spouse fails to answer the questions, or improperly objects to the questions, the Court can compel complete answers and sanction (legally punish) the errant spouse for the failure. 

Request for Production

Either spouse can identify specific documents or categories of documents that the other spouse is required to gather and provide.  For example, a request can be made for a copy of all bank statements and credit card statements from all financial institutions in which the spouse has held an account over the course of the marriage.  As noted above, if the spouse fails to produce the documents timely, the Court can compel production and order sanctions.


Either spouse has the right to take the deposition of the other spouse or any other witness in the case.  A deposition occurs in the lawyer's office conference room.  Both parties are invited to attend.  A court reporter is also present, and makes a transcript of every word that is said.  Deposition testimony is taken under oath, subject to penalties of perjury.

Business Records

Often, important documents are available through a variety of business entities or public institutions.  Examples include medical records, police records and bank records.  An attorney has authority to issue a subpoena that compels the holder of the records to appear in Court or in a deposition with the records to be produced, or alternatively to produce the records to the attorney with an affidavit of business records that makes the records admissible in Court.

Discovery is an important tool for ensuring you can negotiate an advantageous settlement or provide a persuasive argument at trial.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience conducting effective discovery so that all avaiable information can be used to the client's advantage.  Contact the San Antonio or Houston offices of Christiansen Law Firm for a free initial case evaluation.




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