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2015: How do You Obtain Financial Documents and Other Information Necessary for Your Divorce or Legal Separation in San Diego?

WHAT IS DISCOVERY IN THE CONTEXT OF A LEGAL SEPARATION OR DIVORCE IN SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT?

Discovery is the legal procedure to obtain information and documents which are relevant to a divorce or legal separation. This information can include assets and debts as well as business entities and even issues relating to custody and visitation. Since the spouses are in a fiduciary relationship during marriage [some of which can extend post date of separation such as in community property business interests], both sides must fully disclose to the other. Discovery is the formal legal procedure but, first, it is customary to review the preliminary declarations of disclosure [schedule of assets and debts and income and expense declaration] since this will provide income and both debt/asset information. These are signed under penalty of perjury and the forms must be accompanied by the required documents. For example, for an income and expense declaration, paystubs and/or tax returns and/or profit and loss statements are required. For the schedule of assets and debts, for example, bank statements and retirement accounts and real property and vehicles and personal property {among others} must be disclosed first. Before commencing discovery, it is important to review the information provided since this will form the basis for any additional document or information requests. If discovery is not provided per the Code of Civil Procedure, after the demands are made in accord with California law, then there are procedures to force [compel] these and, if not produced, then monetary and/or issue sanctions can be ordered by the Court. Discovery is extremely technical and complicated and the use of an attorney can be very beneficial in both propounding discovery as well as compliance with discovery.

WHAT ARE SOME DISCOVERY STRATEGIES?

There are many formal discovery strategies and some are listed below.

Request for Written Interrogatories: this is a legal pleading asking for answers to written questions.

Demand for Production of Documents: this is a legal pleading asking for documents.

Deposition: this is also a legal pleadings and is an oral examination under oath in an attorney office [most often] in which questions can be asked of a spouse and can include a request to bring documents as well.

Subpoena: this is a judicial council form pleading which compels either a personal appearance or production of documents.

Request for Admissions: this is a legal pleading which asks for specific issues to be admitted or denied.

Request for Inspection: this is a legal pleading which asks to inspect a business or real property or other asset which is in control of the other spouse.

Request for Examination: this is a legal pleadings which asks for an examination and could include an independent medical examination among others.

There are also many informal discovery strategies and some are listed below”

  • Asset Search
  • Witness Interviews
  • Private Investigator
HOW CAN AN EXPERIENCED FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY ASSIST YOU WITH DISCOVERY IN YOUR PENDING FAMILY LAW CASE?

The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist in your discovery requests and goals. The firm offers a virtual consultation which is confidential and no charge up to 30 minutes. This way you can determine if formal or informal discovery is appropriate for your case.

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