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What is Discovery?

  • Wade Christiansen
  • Sat, 04/28/2018 - 12:49pm

In a family law case, the parties often need to obtain information to properly prepare for settlement negotiations and trial.  The legal process of exchanging information is known as "discovery".  Today's blog post will summarize the most often-used discovery tools that can help you prepare (and win) your case.

Interrogatories

Interrogatories are written questions that are propounded to the opposing party.  Interrogatories can inquire about any matter relevant to the subject matter of the case, i.e. custody, visitation, child support, division of property, and fault in the breakup of the marriage.  Since the opposing party must answer under oath, subject to penalties of perjury, Interrogatories are a great way to learn important facts of the case, and can avoid more expensive ways of gaining information.

Request for Production

A party to litigation may request that the other party produce any and all relevant documents, by specific document or category of document.  For example, a party to a divorce case may request that the opposing party produce a copy of all retirement account statements, bank statements and credit card statements.  This allows a review and analysis of how the community property should be divided.

Request for Disclosure

A Request for Disclosure is similar to Interrogatories and Request for Production, but is a brief, standard form that simply seeks some of the most basic information.  Because the questions are standard form, it is simple and cost-effective to prepare, and a responding party is limited in his/her ability to lodge legal objections.

Depositions

An oral deposition is an opportunity to sit down with the opposing party or other witness, and orally ask questions about the case.  The witness is required to answer the questions orally, and a court reporter simultaneously transcribes the testimony for use at trial.

If you're involved in family law litigation, it is important that you be properly prepared for trial.  Having all of the pertinent information avoids surprises and allows you to make an accurate assessment of your case.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience handling family law cases, and have completed discovery on hundreds of cases.  Contact the family law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal matter.

  

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