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Discovery Documents and Testimony In Texas

Discovery is the process by which information is exchanged in a lawsuit, as a divorce lawyer can explain. Discovery is particularly important in divorce or family law cases to prove the allegations in your case. In a petition for divorce, for custody or another family law matter we make allegations of fact and a request to the court to grant the relief we are seeking, such as to be the sole managing conservator with the exclusive right to determine the residence of the child.

The information exchanged in discovery is used by each side in preparation of the case. Discovery is used to investigate information and prepare for trial. After the other party answers your discovery requests, you and your divorce lawyer may review the information to determine what other discovery tools may be useful based on discovery answers, facts and circumstances.

When your divorce lawyer gives you discovery requests to which you are required to respond, you must provide complete information and responsive documents. In certain cases, the other party to the divorce will have greater access to documents and information. That is not unusual and not something to be worried about. You and your attorney will devise a plan to obtain the information you need from the other party to prepare your case for the best possible outcome dependent on the facts of your matter.

Examples of discovery in divorce and family law cases

Discovery tools may be oral or written and may involve third parties. Written discovery requests include interrogatories, requests for production and inspection of documents, requests for disclosure and requests for admissions. When one divorce lawyer serves discovery on the other lawyer to be answered, there is a due date by which the information, answers and documents must be produced.

Subpoenas are used frequently to obtain documentary evidence from third parties. Perhaps it is necessary to obtain medical records of the other party or of the child. Sending a subpoena for bank and other financial records is also common practice among many Texas divorce lawyers.

Oral discovery occurs in a deposition setting where the person deposing one of the parties to the divorce or family law case may ask that person questions to obtain relevant information about the case. When a deponent testifies in a deposition there is a court reporter present taking a transcript of the testimony and a videographer may also be there to make a recording. These recording can then be used in subsequent hearings or at final trial.

Reviewing discovery responses and next steps if necessary

It is important that discovery responses and documents produced be reviewed carefully. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people not to produce certain incriminating documents or completely respond to certain questions in full. Based upon the answers and documents received, it might be necessary to take certain steps to force the other side to comply with your discovery requests and provide proper responses.

Objections to discovery and discovery abuse

The scope of discovery requests should be limited to inquiries that may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. While that is pretty broad, a litigant cannot just go on a fishing expedition seeking irrelevant information and material. Your divorce lawyer may object in writing to discovery requests that exceed what is accepted in the family court and a judge will rule and enter an order dictating what must be answered.

If the other attorney abuses discovery, a motion for relief can be filed with the court, which can lead to punishment including monetary and other sanctions on the abusing party. Unreasonable delays to litigation and refusal to cooperate sometimes happens. The good news is there is a remedy for that type of behavior. Contact a divorce lawyer from Scroggins Law Group.

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