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What Happens During the Discovery Process in a Michigan Divorce?

 Posted on July 07, 2021 in Divorce

Oakland County divorce attorneyIf you are getting divorced, you may be unsure of what to expect. After all, the average person has little to no experience with legal matters, especially those as personal in nature as a divorce. To get a divorce in Michigan, you and your spouse will need to address issues like the division of marital assetschild custody, and spousal support. If you cannot reach an agreement about these issues, your divorce case becomes a “contested divorce.” Read on to learn about how discovery works in a contested divorce case in Michigan.

Discovery in a Michigan Divorce Case

The term “discovery” refers to the phase of the divorce process when each party (and his or her attorney) are gathering relevant evidence and facts. The parties exchange information about finances, child-related concerns, and other issues relevant to the divorce case. Informal discovery involves a voluntary exchange of information. In a highly contested divorce, various legal tools are used to gather information through a formal discovery process.

What Should I Expect During Formal Discovery?

If either party is reluctant to provide the necessary information or a party has lied about information, formal discovery tools may be used to compel the exchange of information. Your lawyer may use discovery tools such as:

  • Requests for production of documents – Your lawyer may formally request your spouse to produce tax returns, bank statements, or other important documents.

  • Requests for admissions – Also called “admissions of fact,” a request for admission involves asking a spouse to confirm or deny certain statements under oath. For example, your lawyer may ask your spouse to admit or deny that he or she was involved in an extramarital relationship during a certain time period.

  • Interrogatories – Interrogatories are open-ended questions that typically involve financial or child-related concerns. Spouses may be asked questions about assets, debts, sources of income, where a child should attend school, and numerous other issues.

  • Depositions -  A deposition is a formal meeting that takes place in person. During a deposition, spouses give testimony under oath. Their statements are recorded by a court reporter. Each party’s lawyer has the opportunity to cross-examine the other party and ask questions.

  • Subpoenas – Subpoenas may be used to compel a person to appear at a legal proceeding or hand over physical or digital records or documents. Subpoenas may also be used to compel a third party to provide evidence that will be useful in the case. For example, cell phone records may be subpoenaed from a phone company.

Contact a Novi, Michigan Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, it is understandable that you may be nervous and unsure of what to expect, especially if the divorce has been less than amicable. Fortunately, you do not have to face this situation alone. Contact an Oakland County divorce lawyer from Elkouri Heath, PLC to get the legal support you need. Call 248-344-9700 for a free, confidential consultation.




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