The Discovery Process in Divorce
Divorce can be a time-consuming process consisting of appointments, documents, and negotiations. It is all part of the discovery process, the intent of which is to ensure that both parties have the information necessary to address the division of assets, time sharing with the kids, and so forth. A significant part of the divorce process relates to discovery:
1- A list of documents and information will be provided outlining what you are expected to share with the other side in your divorce. Be comprehensive in what you provide, and hopefully the other side will do the same.
2- Interrogatories will ask both parties to provide details related to financial holdings, work history, education, trust funds, retirement plans, real estate holdings, vehicles, and so forth. It is important to be absolutely forthright and honest with these documents!
3- Some divorces may require depositions from family and friends, employers, and others who may have information about your spouse’s behaviors and/or habits, your parenting skills, and other issues relevant to the matter.
In some situations, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appropriate. Parents who have real concerns about their spouse’s ability to adequately care for children may request that a GAL be appointed to represent the best interests of the kids. Alternatively, the court could make such an appointment without any requests from parents at all. A GAL’s job is to represent the children’s interests in divorce and includes in-depth investigations into any areas of concern. It is helpful to share your worries regarding your spouse in order to help guide enquiries. Furthermore, you may wish to consider the following:
1- Asking the GAL to interview—and potentially subpoena testimony–from counselors, educators, neighbors, and others familiar with any issues involving the children.
2- Requesting the GAL convene a meeting to discuss custody and visitation concerns.
3- Asking the GAL to make temporary custody recommendations giving you primary custody.
After issues related to the children, the property division is the second most important consideration in any divorce. If there are certain items that you would like to keep, request them in writing and be willing to give up something else in exchange. You have the right to request an inspection of property, particularly in situations where you’ve had to leave the primary residence. Additionally, if you think your spouse may be hiding assets, you will want to work with a forensic accountant to trace financial holdings. Additionally, consider:
1- Ascertaining appropriate values of assets by having them appraised;
2- Providing documentation showing that certain property was owned prior to the marriage.
Advocating for You
Divorce can be a convoluted mix of documents, people, and headaches! At WiseLieberman our practiced, committed Boca Raton divorce attorneys will advise and support you as they work to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your concerns, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.