The Importance Of The Discovery Stage In A Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot reach agreements on how to divide things in the marriage, and a contested divorce may take a lot longer to settle just because the spouses cannot negotiate. During a contested divorce, there is often a process known as the discovery stage, and this stage is a crucial step in a contested divorce.

What Is the Discovery Stage?

There are a lot of steps and stages in a divorce case, and the discovery stage is used in almost all cases. It is more prominent in contested divorce cases, though. During this stage, the lawyers handling the case will work to find out exactly what assets the spouses have, including money they have, cars, houses, and anything else. The goal is to ensure that they are able to split the assets evenly by including and evaluating all of them. This may seem easy to do, but it is not always an easy task, especially when one spouse is trying to hide things from the other.

What Types of Information Is Exchanged?

In this stage, the lawyers will likely want to see all the most recent bank statements from every account either spouse has. They will also want to see tax returns and retirement account statements. Additionally, they will need copies of all credit card statements and anything else that may show spending habits, debts, or proof of assets. If you own a lot of cars, the lawyers may want to see registrations of each vehicle, and they will ask for proof of anything else you might own.

Why Is It Important to Tell the Truth?

There are times when spouses may try to hide assets, for the key purpose of keeping these assets to themselves after the divorce. While this might be tempting for you to do, in a contested divorce, you should realize that the lawyers will be digging around looking for information. In some cases, lawyers will even hire private investigators to find out information for them. If you are not honest, you could end up losing more in your case, and you could also end up in other types of legal trouble if you commit perjury in order to hide your assets.

If you are going through a divorce or will be soon, you should expect to go through the discovery stage. If you have questions about this stage or any other part of the divorce process, contact a divorce lawyer in your city.