Florida Divorce: What is Discovery?
Discovery is a very important part of any legal case, including divorce cases. In order to seek justice, all parties to a divorce are entitled to have access to any relevant evidence. Of course, this can sometimes be difficult as certain types of evidence are solely controlled by one party. For example, in a Florida divorce case, how much money one partner has in a personal bank account might be key information. Under Florida law, that partner has a legal obligation to share this information. Discovery is the process that will ensure that all relevant information comes out. If you are going through a divorce in Florida, it critical that discovery is conducted effectively. Any mistakes during discovery could negatively impact your case later on in the legal process. If you have any specific questions about discovery and your divorce, please contact an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer for assistance.
Four Key Aspects of the Discovery Process
- Requests for Production
Requests for production, also referred to as demands for documents, comprises a critical first step in protecting your legal rights. Your partner has a legal duty to turn over relevant documents and records, or to admit that these files do not exist or cannot be located. In the event that you or your lawyer believe that your partner is not acting honestly, subpoenas can be issued to demand important documents from third parties.
- Requests for Admission
A request for admission is another key discovery tool. Put simply, this will put your partner on the spot. They will be under oath and they will be required to deny or admit to the truthfulness of a particular fact. Any admissions will be treated as truth for the remainder of the legal proceeding. Further, if your partner lies, your lawyer can take additional action to establish the truth and hold them accountable.
Interrogatories are written questions that are submitted to another party in a legal dispute. The party that receives these questions has a duty to respond to them in a truthful manner. You and your lawyer can submit questions on a wide variety of issues and any dishonest answers will constitute perjury.
Finally, your lawyer can also conduct a deposition in your divorce case. Depositions are similar to the interrogatories in the sense that questions are asked under oath, however, instead of being asked in written form, questions will be asked in oral form. If you are going through a contentious divorce in Florida, your lawyer can use a deposition as a tool to protect your legal rights and interests.
Do You Need Family Law Assistance in Central Florida?
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our compassionate family law team has helped many people through the Florida divorce process. If you have any questions about discovery and divorce, or family law issues in general, please give us a call today at 407-521-7171. Our firm is based in Orlando and we represent families throughout Central Florida, including in Apopka and Winter Park.