Total honesty and disclosure are absolutely necessary for a divorce to successfully and fairly reach a resolution. Even in a contested divorce between two spouses who can hardly stand to be in the same room as one another, sharing all relevant information to the divorce is a must. Otherwise, the divorce will be dragged on, matters will not be handled correctly, and a family law judge may even exact legal punishment against the person that hides information.
In order to get more information from your spouse in a divorce, you can use the discovery process. For the most part, discovery processes and negotiations are used to uncover hidden assets that might be subject to property division, such as a savings account one spouse never knew existed. However, discovery can be used to dig up any information that is deemed relevant to the divorce. It can also be used whether a spouse is intentionally trying to conceal information, or if they have posed the argument that the unshared information does not pertain to the divorce.
Tools of the discovery process include:
- Admissions of fact
- Requests for production
If all of these methods sound like something used in a criminal investigation to you, it might be due to the fact that, in a way, it is an investigation. The spouse trying to hide assets and paperwork might not technically be committing a crime, but they are committing a family law wrongdoing. When the wrongdoing is egregious enough, a family law judge can decide to penalize that spouse by awarding more divorce rights to the other, like getting a larger share of marital funds.
Negotiation Keeps Things Simple & Relatively Stress-Free
Wielding a legal stick to try to complete the discovery process can be effective but it is not ideal, especially if you want or need to maintain some sort of healthy relationship with your ex-spouse. Imagine if you share child custody with a spouse who tried to hide information, requiring you to use discovery methods to get it. Not many would consider that a fantastic familial setting in which to raise a child.
At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, the firm's family law attorneys in Temecula like to initially approach discovery situations with negotiation in mind. Rather than prying information out of a stubborn spouse, they believe in convincing them, or in reaching a settlement that benefits everyone. In this way, less bridges will be burned and you can both move into the next chapter of your lives more comfortably.
Want to know more about the firm's services? Call (951) 506-6654 to request a free consultation today.