What is Discovery in a Divorce Case

Posted by Thomas MallonJan 19, 20160 Comments

Need help with discovery
Need help with discovery

What is Discovery in a Divorce Case

For a divorce to be effectively accomplished, gathering vital information is very necessary for both parties because during divorce either one or both parties hold bitterness towards each other, leading to the withheld of information. Well, the information can be collected with the help of what is called discovery process.

The divorce discovery process permit parties to get documents and other vital information that are related to the case.  Maryland has their rules regarding what process can be used for discovery and the discovery process is governed by the Maryland rules commencing with Rule 2-401.

They are set in place to ensure order to the process, and also to make sure that each side is held responsible for the information they provide. Discovery in Maryland custody and divorce is a process used to prepare for trial and it mostly includes:

  • Interrogatories: It is the question that you have to respond to in writing and it is under oath.
  • Subpoena: It is an officially recognized document demanding someone to provide testimony about somebody or a something at a court.
  • Requests for production of documents:  These require you to gather documents for analysis by your spouse lawyer.
  • Deposition: This is when a testimony of a witness is documented by the court reporter and the witness is meant to take an oath.

Any of the party who receives the discovery is suppose to return the information to the requesting lawyer within thirty days.

It also provides each party with constitutional rights where they can reject some questions if it is illegal. Though, what can be asked is very wide and can even go outside the scope of the case if necessary. Because it's not always understandable what can be kept back (secret) and what has to be given, a disagreement might have to be resolved in court over the issue.

While prosecution is not a part of the discovery process, a legal representative can make use of interrogatories to get information under oath. For instance, a lawyer can request the other spouse whether he or she did have an affair. If they agree to it, then additional questions could be requested to get more information about it.

Many clients question why these documents have to be exchange or revealed as they think it is an interference of their privacy. The speculation of wide-ranging rights of discovery is that all parties will go to trial with all the information you can get and that neither party ought to hide information from each other. Further, clients have to know that if you or the rival party raises a specific problem in a matter, then the problem must be investigated.

The discovery process is one of the most vital parts of the family law litigation.  If an Interrogatories and requests to produce documents are sent to your ex-spouse and he or she does not responding with the set time which is usually within 30 days will definitely face punishment by the law.