The discovery process allows you to learn more about how much money your spouse earns in a year or how much debt he or she might have. This information can be useful when it comes time to negotiate the terms of the final divorce settlement. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that you are generally entitled to whatever joint assets are needed to maintain a reasonable lifestyle after your marriage comes to an end.
You can request any information that could be relevant to the case
As a general rule, you are allowed to review any records that might strengthen your negotiating position during settlement negotiations. For instance, you might be entitled to see bank statements, car loan statements or a recent tax return. You might also be allowed to take a look at your spouse’s social media profiles or estate plan documents. Social media posts might be useful in establishing that you’re best suited to be a child’s sole custodial parent.
Everything comes out eventually
It’s important to remember that the truth comes out during the discovery process. If your spouse’s attorney has reason to believe that you’re hiding something, he or she may ask that you be deposed. A deposition typically requires you to provide oral testimony that is entered into the official record. In some cases, you will be allowed to answer questions in writing. Your divorce attorney may also ask to depose your spouse as part of the discovery process.
Discovery doesn’t have to be an extended process
In most cases, the parties to a divorce proceeding create the rules that govern the discovery process before it begins. Therefore, you have a lot of control as to how long it will actually take to obtain the information needed to begin good faith settlement talks.
An attorney may take many steps to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your divorce proceeding. One of these steps may be to ensure that you obtain the information necessary to craft a settlement that meets your needs.