One of the most expensive aspects of every family law and divorce case, is responding to “basic discovery”.
What is Discovery?
“Discovery” in a divorce case is written request for you to provide financial information regarding your assets and debts to your spouses attorney.
“Discovery, in the law of common law jurisdictions, is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party or parties by means of discovery devices such as interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admissions and depositions.”
In every divorce case, the lawyer representing you, and the opposing lawyer, need to acquire all of the necessary information to assess the case on both ends, to make preparations for negotiating a settlement, and, if necessary, to get ready for trial. This can be a very long process but there are ways you can assist your lawyer and save some money too.
How Can You Reduce the Attorney Fees in Your Family Law Case?
The Family Law Office of James J. Kenny, would like to help you save some money and time on your divorce case, so we are giving you a head start on the “discovery” information you need to collect and have ready before hiring the divorce attorney in your area.
The following information is almost always requested, and you can make your life a whole lot easier by simply assembling the following information and delivering it to your attorney at the earliest possible date. (Discovery information needed for your family law case).
- Copies of your tax returns, federal and state ,for the last 2 full years
- Copies of all of your bank statements and credit card statements for the last two full Years
- Copies of the title to your house and copies of the last 12 months of mortgage statements.
- Copies of the title to your vehicles and the monthly payment statements for the last 24 years .
- A room by room inventory of the contents of your house. Include your opinion of the value of each of the major items. When giving your opinion of value remember your spouse may request to have those items awarded to you at your figures. Be careful not to overestimate the present value of these items. The original purchase price is irrelevant.
- Copies of your retirement accounts and Ira accounts for the last two calendar years.
- Copies of all bank statements in your name either alone or jointly with any other person including your spouse.
- Copies of any documents which show a debt that you are responsible for and for which you are seeking your spouse to pay 1/2 of.
- If you or one of your family members contributed the down payment for the purchase of your house or cars copies of any documents which you can rely on to prove that.
- Copies of your children’s report cards and progress reports for the last two years.
- Copies of any and all documents with your children’s name on it. That would include any school documents or documents relating to your children’s extracurricular activities. .
While most family law attorneys will ask for additional information than what we have laid out for you here, if you assemble all this information, you may find that your attorney can send this information to your spouse’s attorney and reduce the significant expense for further written discovery.