One of the key steps involved in a Massachusetts divorce is discovery — during which your side and your spouse’s side are required to exchange information related to your divorce with each other.
Regardless of how long you were married to your spouse, you might not have all the information you need to get a complete picture of their financial situation. Especially, if your spouse is a working professional or an entrepreneur and handles their own finances, they might have assets and liabilities that you might not know of.
This is why the discovery process is so important in a Massachusetts divorce, as it levels the playing field and ensures that both parties have the information they require in order to make informed decisions regarding property division, spousal support, child support, and other issues.
At Davis Law Group, we have experienced family law attorneys who can gather all the required information from your spouse, make sure they have not hidden or undervalued any of their assets, and fight hard to obtain the most favorable result possible. Call us today at (617) 752-6216 or contact us online to find out how Massachusetts family law attorney Jay Davis and his legal team can help you with your divorce.
What Happens During the Discovery Process?
During the discovery process, you and your spouse are required to voluntarily disclose certain information to each other. These are called mandatory disclosures. These include:
The parties are required to provide each other with financial statements (long form — if annual income equals or exceeds $75,000 or short form — if it is less than $75,000).
In the statement, the parties are required to disclose how much money they make (including base salary, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, tips, rental income, income earned through investments, and other sources of income, if any). The parties are also required to provide each other with a list of their assets and liabilities.
Disclosures Required Under Supplemental Rule 410
Under Rule 410, the parties are required to provide each other with supporting documentation, which can prove the authenticity of the information they provided in the financial statement. These include state and federal income tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, investment related documents, health insurance documents, loan and mortgage documents, and statements of assets and liabilities.
It should be noted that any party that provides false or misleading information in their mandatory disclosures can be penalized for perjury. So, it’s crucial to get your financial statements reviewed by a reliable and seasoned Massachusetts divorce attorney.
The family law attorneys at Davis Law Group — led by attorney Jay Davis — have decades of experience in handling contested as well as uncontested divorces. We can guide you through the discovery process and make sure all the information you provide to the other side are factually correct. We can also make sure the other side does not try to hide what they own or gain an unfair advantage over you by concealing important information.
If you have any questions about discovery or in need of a skilled Massachusetts divorce lawyer to handle your case, call us today at (617) 752-6216 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.
Requesting Information from the Other Side during the Discovery Process
If you need additional information — apart from what your spouse already provided in their mandatory disclosures — you can get it by filing a request with the other side. There are several legal methods available to obtain the information you need from your spouse. These include:
- Interrogatories — Requesting your spouse to answer a set of questions in writing
- Production of Documents — Requesting your spouse to provide you with the copies of the documents you need
- Depositions — Requesting your spouse and the witnesses (if needed) to testify under oath and answer your attorney’s questions
Apart from this, your divorce attorney might also decide to subpoena the parties of interest — including your spouse’s employer, a representative from the financial institution they have invested their money in, and other parties — to obtain the information they need or to verify the information provided by your spouse.
If your spouse fails to comply with your discovery requests for any reason, your attorney can file a motion with the court to force your spouse to comply with your request. If they still fail to do so, the court might impose financial costs on them (asking them to pay your legal costs and attorney’s fees) or prohibit them from introducing certain evidence. Needless to say, the same rule applies to you as well.
Choose the Right Massachusetts Divorce Attorney to Represent You
Discovery is a highly complicated process, which can be difficult to navigate without the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney. Attorney Jay Davis has more than two decades of experience in handling divorce cases. Jay and his legal team at Davis Law Group can guide you through the discovery process.
We will make sure your rights are fully protected while we negotiate with the other party on your behalf on all critical issues like spousal support, child custody, visitation, and child support. Call us today at (617) 752-6216 or contact us online and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced Massachusetts divorce lawyers today.The post What is the Discovery Process in an MA Divorce? first appeared on Davis Law Group.