DISCOVERY

In any divorce case in the State of California, it may become necessary for one party to find out about information about the other persons income or the value of any marital property that the other person could be in possession of. The process in a legal case where one side can ask for information from the other side is know as the DISCOVERY PROCESS.

There are several forms of Discovery that are often used in a divorce case in Sacramento County. I will discuss two of the most commonly used methods in this article.

The most commonly used form of Discovery is know as the Form Interrogatory. This is a form that one side can send to the other with a prepared list of questions that can be checked off by the side asking the questions. The questions are designed so that if the responding party answers them completely, the asking party will be able to get almost all of the information that is needed in a typical divorce case. The Form Interrogatory covers topics such all property that the answering spouse has, their last three years of tax returns and information regarding any sources of income that that person received over the past 12 months.

A party that is responding to the From Interrogatory needs to be careful to fully answer all of the questions that the requesting party checked. The responding party must sign the responsive pages and assure that all the answers are accurate under Penalty of Perjury.

Another common method of Discovery that our office uses often is the Request for Production of Records. These can cover both a person's business or consumer records.

This is a legal request for records to another business entity such as a bank that the responding party may have an account at. It is very common for us to send a request to the other side's bank and request their last two years of bank statements. This method is often used when our office wants to see exactly how much money the other side has been depositing or withdrawing out of their account. The records come directly from the bank, and not the other party. That way, we are assured of receiving all of the documents that we requested.