Understanding how discovery works in a divorce

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While every divorce is as different as every couple going through them, there are some elements that are common to many, depending on the process of divorce a couple chooses. Among the first steps, the spouses should take when considering a divorce is seeking the legal guidance of an attorney who is experienced in the nuances of Arizona family law. Each party will need a separate attorney. Once the divorce petition has been filed with the appropriate courts, the opposing sides will begin the discovery phase.

Many legal actions have a form of discovery wherein both sides share with each other any relevant information that can be used in court. Discovery depends on each participant offering honest answers to questions and providing complete details about the issues in question. In that way, the court can better work toward a fair divorce order.

Discovery may be as simple as each spouse sharing information, such as a list of assets, access to investment accounts, and truthful evidence of income. One party may request an admission of fact or interrogatories from the other, which requires the spouse to admit or deny certain statements or to provide truthful answers to questions. The most intimidating form of discovery is arguably the deposition at which opposing counsel questions each spouse under oath and uses those statements in court.

The purpose of the discovery process is to ensure there are no surprises during the divorce and that no one is holding back information or assets that the other spouse has a right to. A skillful Arizona divorce attorney will use the most advantageous methods for gaining such information. With experienced legal counsel, a spouse can be assured of an advocate for the protection of his or her rights and best interests.