When you file for a Michigan divorce, the opposing party will respond asking you to produce financial and legal documents that go back years. They will also submit interrogatories which are, basically, a bunch of questions that you’ll feel your spouse should already know the answers to. You won’t want to respond to these requests for information. It will feel like busy work and just one more thing your ex is doing to annoy you. But divorce discovery is unavoidable and, frustrating as it is, you must play along.
1. Discovery levels the playing field.
Discovery is the pre-trial phase of a divorce lawsuit and it is intended for each party to gather evidence from the opposing party. The goal is to make sure both parties have access to the same information to negotiate a fair agreement or, if negotiations don’t go well, to present before a judge. Discovery, essentially, levels the playing field and creates a fair environment for decision-making.
2. Even amicable divorces need discovery.
It doesn’t matter how well you and your ex get along, even the most peaceful divorces need discovery. At some point, communication can break down, but you still need a clear picture of the financial aspects of your marriage to make the best decisions for yourself and your children.
3. Expect to be asked personal questions.
No part of the divorce process is designed to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel this way during discovery especially. The personal questions you must answer will be thorough and cover everything from employment history to parenting matters.
4. Discovery will be tedious.
The details you must provide during discovery will annoy you and suck up your time. Details are everything in a Michigan divorce though and the more information you provide the greater clarity your divorce lawyer and a judge will have about the issues that are specific to your divorce.
5. There are different types of discovery.
You may find yourself on the receiving end of several types of discovery, including:
- Interrogatories: written questions
- Requests for documents: asking you to provide certain docs
- Requests for admissions: asking you to admit or deny certain facts
- Depositions: questions asked and answered in the presence of a court reporter
- Subpoena of documents: a command to produce certain documents
6. Brace yourself for surprises.
The gathering of financial and personal information is bound to produce some unexpected details, especially in a relationship that has long been breaking down. You may be in the dark about some of your spouse’s assets and debts. For example, you may discover that you’re jointly named on a credit card with a high balance and therefore liable for a portion of that debt, even though you didn’t agree to being on the card when it was opened. Hidden assets and details come to light during discovery.
Simplify Divorce Discovery: Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan
Your Michigan divorce lawyer will guide you in the discovery process and help you understand your continuing obligation to disclose information and when you can keep a detail to yourself. If you have questions about discovery during divorce and are planning to file for your own Michigan divorce, hire a Macomb, Michigan, divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.