Discovery is one of the first events to occur in the divorce process, and the goal is to ensure that each party to the proceeding has enough information to negotiate an equitable settlement. In most cases, the process of exchanging information is an informal one. However, if necessary, a deposition or interrogation may occur in a Maryland court or other formal setting.
What types of information will be exchanged?
You and your spouse will likely exchange tax returns, bank statements or other documents that help to determine each person’s current financial condition. These and other documents might also be used to determine if assets should be considered marital or separate property. The information that is provided during discovery might be used to justify a request for child support or alimony payments.
It’s in your best interest to be honest
The last thing you want to do in a divorce proceeding is to be caught either lying or withholding information. Doing so may lead to sanctions from the judge overseeing your case or reduce your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement.
As a general rule, you can expect that any information related to the case will be made known at some point regardless of your efforts to hide it. Furthermore, it may be harder for your attorney to negotiate a reasonable settlement if you withhold information.
Say as little as possible during an interrogation
While you don’t want to lie to anyone, there is no obligation to provide information that could be used to your spouse’s benefit. Ideally, you will keep responses to any questions asked during a deposition or interrogation as concise as possible.
A family law attorney may help represent your interests during discovery and other portions of the divorce legal process. Legal counsel might use income, asset or other data obtained from your spouse to maximize the chances of negotiating a favorable settlement in the case.