Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
Ringgold: (706) 935-8864
Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia

Family Law Discovery

One of the things that often surprises people divorce cases is the discovery process.  Most people are familiar to some extent with how courtroom procedure works based on what they’ve seen in TV and movies.  However, not many people are familiar with the discovery process until they have to go through it in a court case.

Discovery is a process whereby the parties in a divorce action or any civil action can obtain information and documents from the other party.  This can take basically four forms.  First interrogatories are questions put in written form and sent to the other party to answer.  The Request to Produce and for the Production of Documents is just what it says it is a request from one party to the other party for documents.  Of course, in the information age documents refers to much more than just paper documents. The third and less used is a Request to Admit.  Request to Admit are basely just questions sent to the other party requesting either an admission or denial.  For example, you would send a Request to Admit that one party has committed adultery.  Fourth, the parties may depose the other parties in depositions.

Typically, in an average divorce case discovery will begin sometime after the first hearing which is called a temporary hearing and before the final hearing in the case.  However, discovery request can be made at the start of the case as well.

Discovery can delay a case from being finalized. However, the real purpose of discovery is to allow the parties to get ready for trial.  Discovery allows an attorney to know the facts for trial and to prepare according.  The discovery process prevents one party from hiding information from the other party and allows the court to craft a more fair resolution to the case.

On a practical note, if you’re involved in any kind of civil case especially a divorce or family law modification action be aware of the potential of anything you put in written form may be asked for in discovery.  For example, be prepared to hand over all your financial records such as your bank records.  Be prepared that any text message you sent or  Facebook post you put up may be requested and put before the court.  So, be careful what you write.