When most legal professionals talk about the divorce process, they discuss what happens inside the courthouse. While the direct interactions with the court are undoubtedly important, and sometimes dramatic, an equally important (if far less dramatic) aspect of the divorce process is what happens in the attorney’s office, perhaps in a small, quiet conference room. For example, the parties must organize the relevant information which they plan on using in the course of the divorce. This process can involve attorneys, paraprofessionals and, perhaps, third parties such as forensic experts. The exchange of this information with the other party is known as “discovery” and it involves the answering of written questions propounded by the other party and the organization and production of relevant documents which have also been requested by the other party.
While perhaps the most tedious aspect of any divorce, discovery is also likely one of the most important because the information being exchanged is the pivotal information upon which the outcome of the issues of support, equitable distribution, and custody depend. Furthermore, the failure to provide discovery in a timely fashion could jeopardize a party’s rights to present critically important information at trial. Similarly, the failure to pay appropriate attention to the organization of this important information could have detrimental effects to a party’s rights in the disposition of the fundamental financial issues.
While you may or may not engage in all of the forms of discovery in your divorce case, it is important to pick an attorney who has the professional resources to handle the entire discovery process so your rights are not impaired. Contact the Family Law Group at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann and Knopf LLP to discover what we are all about.