Your Divorce Trial: Is Discovery Necessary?


Discovery is a trial preparation practice that comes right before the beginning of many types of cases. However, it is not as common in divorce cases. Read on and find out more about this practice and whether you can expect your own divorce case to involve discovery procedures.

How Divorces Get Settled

Discovery during a divorce procedure is a signal that the couple has not been able to work out all the disagreements and therefore, a trial is in their future. In many cases, divorces are smooth from start to finish and an appearance before a judge is all that is necessary for the divorce to be finalized.

In the case of smooth divorces, the issues are settled one by one using a divorce settlement conference, and agreements are forged during the meetings. For example, if the couple does not agree on marital debt, a settlement conference might involve working things out by discussing them and making compromises. Those that are unsuccessful with that form of settlement might also be interested in mediation. However, some couples have so many disagreements that they end up taking their issues before a family law judge.

When the Stakes Are High

Certain types of divorce are more likely not only to go to trial but also to require discovery before the trial begins. It's not enough just to disagree on things, most divorces that involve discovery share certain characteristics like these:

  • High asset divorces involving vast sums of money, property, and debts.
  • Highly publicized divorces.
  • Divorces involving business ownerships or partnerships.
  • Divorces in which one or more parties are concealing assets.
  • Long-term marriages in which assets and debts have been intermingled.
  • Fault marriages that require a lot of evidence. While all states offer a form of no-fault divorce, you can still have a fault divorce if you want. Naming fault in a divorce can influence everything from child custody and spousal support to property and debt divisions.

What Is Discovery?

The more complex the divorce, the longer discovery will take. Discovery is not one thing but a series of exchanges between the parties. The exchanges involve passing evidence between the parties and that might include photographs, documents, emails, financial information, results of child studies, and much more. It often also includes a deposition where both parties are questioned under oath about the disputed issues. 

If your divorce is going to trial, ask your lawyer about discovery practices that are likely to involve you. Speak to your divorce lawyer to find out more. 


18 May 2022

planning for the struggles of kids and divorce

Are you going through a divorce? Do you have kids? If so, do you know how to handle the many struggles you will face when it comes to your kids? Even if you and your spouse can get through the divorce while agreeing on the custody arrangements, there will be struggles that you may not have planned for. For example, who will handle the educational, medical or other decisions about the kids? Is it something that you will decide together, or will one parent make the decision and the other one agree? My site contains several tips that can help you plan for the struggles you will go through in the future and make the situation a little easier for your entire family.