I want to talk to you a little bit about discovery and generally what that means for your case. So discovery is used, I use discovery in almost every litigated case that I'm involved in. When using discovery in your case, I use it for the purposes of finding out as much as I can about the other party’s financial situation. For example with their assets are, if they have retirement accounts, if they have healthcare, how much they're paying for that if there are any debts, any liabilities, any business interests. So I ask as much information as I can about the other party on behalf of my client. Because as you can imagine one of the reasons why a lot of folks go through a divorce is because there are trust issues with regard to the other party being upfront with that information and if you find yourself going through a divorce by yourself, or you're doing it pro se, and you're trying to negotiate some sort of settlement in the case you may decide that you want an attorney to draft up a discovery packet for you so that you can send it to the other party, at the very least so you can negotiate or begin negotiations. If trustworthiness is an issue doing interrogatories or discovery requests is definitely a way for you to at least get a sense of the other parties possessions and what their liabilities are as well. 

New Mexico attorneys working through Divorce discovery process.

There's never been a case where I have requested discovery where I have regretted it because you always learn something that the other party didn't know or that your client didn't know about the other party, which is good because then it allows you to have more transparency where none existed before and you're able to negotiate from a position of strength because you know what the other party is in possession of, or what they're liable for as well plus you can learn some interesting things through discovery about the other party as well. For example, if there are children involved, what's their thought process on an appropriate time-sharing schedule or legal custody? You can get an idea on what they believe how much child support should be as well, so discovery is a useful tool in litigation. It's not appropriate in all cases but in most cases, I've been involved in most attorneys and litigated divorces use discovery as a tool to learn about the other party.

 Discovery can be cumbersome, there are some time requirements that you have to follow in order to not waive any objections if you don't answer them or provide documents in a timely manner, so important you get a discovery packet in your pro se or you're represented by an attorney, make sure you reach out to an attorney contact them, get some advice on how to handle the discovery, including if you have any objections so that you can be the best prepared and negotiate from a position of strength.

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond
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