Part I of this article briefly described information on filing for divorce. After you file, you may begin the discovery process. Discovery is a process that attorneys utilize for collecting information from the opposing party. It is also a tool used to determine what the other party’s position is as to custody, parenting time, or property distributions. Several types of discovery tools may be used. A request for production of documents is a request for the other party to produce certain documents such as paystubs or retirement account information. Interrogatories are questions that the answering party is required to answer under oath. These are some of the common discovery tools, but there are several others available to your attorney
If you are trying to manage your attorney fees, collecting as many documents as possible will help. If you are able to provide some of the requested information, then not all of the discovery methods may be necessary. Some documents to begin collecting are tax records, paystubs, bank account records, 401(k) or other retirement plan information, credit card statements, loan balances, and any other information on your assets, and debts. All of this information may be pertinent for allocation of the marital estate.
Another important factor to remember is this not every divorce case or process is the same. Your family and friends are very important to rely on during this process. They will be your support system. However, they will all have their own advice and opinion as to how you should proceed in your divorce case. Everyone knows someone who went through a situation similar to yours and they will be anxious to give their advice. Family law is a very fact sensitive area of the law, and no divorce case is exactly the same. What works or happens in someone else’s divorce case may not necessarily be an option in your case. If you feel that a different approach should be used, discuss this with your attorney and he or she can explain why that approach is or isn't a good option in your case.