You have finally decided to get divorced, and you look forward to breaking free from your marriage and moving on with your life. At the same time, it is natural to feel overwhelmed by the process itself.
A particularly important step in a divorce proceeding in Texas is the process of discovery. Here is a glimpse at what discovery involves in the Lone Star State.
What exactly is discovery?
Soon after you file your court papers to start the marital breakup process, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will exchange certain pieces of information, including information about your individual personal, economic and financial situations. When it comes to your finances, you must provide information about your income, debt and ownership. This process of exchanging information is known as discovery.
The discovery process is important, as it helps to ensure that all marital property is property accounted for before being divided between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. It also provides critical information for dealing with issues like spousal support and child support.
Producing documents and posing interrogatories
One way in which you can fulfill your discovery obligations is to produce documents related to your divorce, marital union, income and separate property. Another way is to pose interrogatories -- questions that require your future ex to provide support for the demands that he or she has made.
An example of an interrogatory is asking your future ex-spouse to describe his or her current relationship with your minor children. A more detailed question may be a question posed to confirm that the other party did indeed have $50,000 in taxable income in a certain year. The other party can also ask you similar questions. However, if you receive a hard-to-understand or unfair question, your attorney may advise you to object to it.
Important discovery considerations
You may be tempted to withhold information about certain assets, and so may the other party. However, the reality is that everything about the property you own will likely be unveiled at some point during your discovery process. This is particularly true if your case ends up being contentious.
This is why it is so critical that you are honest about the documents and facts that may be part of the discovery process. The more your attorney knows about your financial situation, the more prepared he or she will be to smooth out any issues before they grow into major problems during your divorce proceeding.