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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family Law > Does a Divorce Require a Discovery Process?

Does a Divorce Require a Discovery Process?


Divorce proceedings are rarely straightforward, particularly when it comes to untangling the intricacies of shared assets, finances, and familial responsibilities. For many couples in New Jersey and Pennsylvania seeking to dissolve a union, they hear from friends or family members that a discovery process may be required. If you have questions about what discovery entails and when it’s needed, have a conversation with a seasoned Bucks County family attorney.

An Investigative Process and Common Timelines

The discovery process serves as an investigative phase. It is a time designed to uncover and disclose relevant information pertaining to the marital estate. This includes assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and any other pertinent financial or personal matters. Discovery is important because it allows both parties and their attorneys to gain a comprehensive understanding of the marital assets and liabilities, so they can make informed decisions.

While every case is unique, certain situations lead to a divorce discovery being more likely. For example, discovery is often essential when there are significant assets, complex financial arrangements, or disputes over property division or spousal support. In such instances, thorough examination and disclosure of financial information become paramount to ensure fair and just outcomes for both parties.

How the process moves forward depends on the specifics of the case and jurisdiction rules, but common discovery techniques include interrogatories, requests for production of documents, depositions, and subpoenas. These tools enable both parties to obtain relevant information and evidence from each other, third parties, or financial institutions.

In terms of duration, the discovery process can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of cooperation between parties, and the efficiency of legal counsel. An attorney can help you expedite proceedings wherever possible to minimize undue delays and expenses.

Documents Needed for Discovery

A wide range of documents and information may be sought during a divorce discovery.

  • Financial records. Some of the financial documents that may be requested include bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, and property valuations.
  • Real estate documents. Deeds, mortgage statements, property appraisals, and rental agreements may be examined to ascertain the value and ownership of real property.
  • Personal and business records. Any documentation related to businesses, partnerships, stocks, bonds, or other investments may be subject to review.
  • Communication records. Emails, text messages, and other correspondence may provide insight into the parties’ intentions.

The goal of discovery is to ensure full and transparent disclosure of all relevant information, so there could be additional forms of evidence required as well. When you share the details of your case with a Bucks County family attorney, they can share with you what will be needed to facilitate a fair and equitable resolution.

How will you be sure all assets have been adequately assessed? By engaging in thorough discovery, New Jersey and Pennsylvania couples can navigate the complexities of divorce with clarity and confidence. Talk to the lawyers at Kardos, Rickles & Hand about how to pave the way for a smoother transition to the next chapter of your life. Call 215-968-6602 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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