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Divorce Discovery Requests. Do You Have To Respond?

The short answer to this question is yes. Divorce proceedings are initiated when one party files the initial complaint in Superior Court. A divorce can be either contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorces are rather straight forward because all of the major issues that arise in divorce proceedings, such as custody, support and division of assets, are not at issue. Contested divorces are a different matter. One of the first things that happens in a contested divorce is the process of information gathering, better known as discovery. Discovery is the process in a divorce where each spouse has an opportunity to obtain information from one another about divorce-related issues. These issues are important and the information will be used by the Court to make decisions about custody, support and other matters that are contested during the proceedings.

The method typically used to obtain this information is through submitting written questions or interrogatories to the other spouse. Because the attorney’s are usually attempting to get the most accurate information on the income and assets of the other party most of the types of documents and information requested will include some of the following:

  • Past and present pay stubs
  • Tax forms such as W-2 and other State and IRS forms from the previous year
  • Three to five years of federal and State tax returns
  • Life insurance payment premiums
  • Court orders directing a party to pay or receive child or spousal support
  • Financial statements
  • Social security, disability and retirement benefits during the previous 12 months
  • Documented balances from retirement accounts, mutual fund accounts, bank accounts and pension plans.

The important thing to remember is that any question submitted through interrogatories during the discovery period must be answered accurately and within the time period allowed by the Court. Unfortunately, sometimes this process can be used to intentionally frustrate the opposing side by requesting information that would be unduly burdensome for the other party to obtain. In either case, an attorney experienced in the area of divorce can guide you through the process and ensure that your best interests are always protected. The Faucette Law Firm specializes in contested divorceuncontested divorcechild custody, child support and modifications. We serve the Douglasville, Atlanta and Marietta areas. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.