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In 2016, Legal Strategies to Obtain Information and/or Documentation About Assets and Debts in a Legal Separation or Divorce in San Diego

What Does Discovery Mean in a San Diego Divorce or Legal Separation for Assets And/or Debts?

Discovery, and does not make a difference whether a legal separation or divorce, is a legal procedure. This process can be very technical and is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure primarily. As spouses are in a fiduciary relationship, there is a mandatory self disclosure which consists of the preliminary declaration of disclosure which cannot be waived. The preliminary declaration of disclosure includes both the schedule of assets and debts as well as the income and expense declaration with the mandatory attachments and are signed under penalty of perjury. No discovery is needed and this is automatic. This is different than in other areas of the law in which this special legal relationship is not present. For example, if you are involved in a car accident on I-15 and rear ended and file a law suit for damages, the other driver does not automatically have to provide any information without sending formal discovery other than insurance and drivers license information. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experience in preparing the legal documents for the mandatory disclosures as well as for the other family law pleadings needed to move from pre judgment to post judgment. Not all cases require all of the strategies below and, in some cases, no formal discovery is sent and informal discovery requested. As each party must provide the preliminary declarations of disclosure, this is discovery in its base form for family law cases in 2016.

Written Interrogatories in a Legal Separation or Divorce

Written interrogatories, and again no difference whether a divorce or legal separation and will not be repeated below since the same for each below category, are questions in writing that are sent pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure directed to the other party. The other party must answer under penalty of perjury and these answers may be used in the litigation and at trial. There are both standard interrogatories from the California Judicial Council Forms as well as special interrogatories which can be prepared for each individual case. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can prepare your written interrogatories for your pending family law case or respond if you have been served these questions.

Production of Documents in a Divorce or Legal Separation

Production of documents also have standard production which are contained in the California Judicial Council Forms and also special production of documents can be prepared. These are also directed to the other party and ask for documents to be produced. These also must be sent pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure. These documents may be used in trial or litigation as with the written interrogatories. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist with either propounding this production or responding.

Request for Admissions in a Legal Separation or Divorce

Requests for admissions are for specific facts and directed to the other party. The other party must either admit or deny the facts. These can prove very useful in litigation. These must be very carefully phrased. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can prepare or respond to requests for admissions in your pending case in San Diego.

Deposition in a Divorce or Legal Separation

A deposition is taken against a party in litigation. This is done, most often, in one of the attorney’s offices however has the full force and effect of being in Court and the testimony is under penalty of perjury. A Court Reporter is present to take done all and, in some cases, there is also a video recording. There are standard admonitions which are given prior to the deposition and, at the end of the deposition, the Reporter prepares the transcript which is then sent to the deponent and they have [normally] 30 days to sign and return and make any changes. If not signed, and the proper stipulation entered into, then an unsigned transcript may be used in litigation and at trial. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC uses licensed California Court Reporters and can assist in taking a deposition or being with the party who is being deposed to protect their rights and make objections as necessary.

Subpoena in a Legal Separation or Divorce

A subpoena is a written court order [and can be signed by Judge or licensed California attorney] requiring a third party [such as a bank or employer or other institution] to produce the requested physical evidence such as documents, records or books. There are many requirements, including notice of objection, which must be complied with. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has California licensed attorneys which can sign the subpoenas and make sure all requirements met.

Asset Search in a Divorce or Legal Separation

An asset search is, normally, not done by a law office and instead by a independent licensed Private Investigator or other company. These searches can obtain information to be used in the pending divorce or legal separation. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist with your request for an asset search.

How Can a San Diego Law Firm Help You With Discovery or Other Family Law Issues?

The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can help with either discovery requests or responding to discovery requests. This is a local San Diego law firm staffed with full time attorneys and staff. Their office is easy to access off the I-15 with plenty of free parking and an elevator as needed. They offer a free in-person or virtual consultation up to 30 minutes in their office so you can discuss your individual case.

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