What is Financial Discovery?

Not all Family Law cases require financial discovery. However, there are many cases in which a spouse must take the extra step of investigating all financial issues of a marriage or registered domestic partnership to obtain sufficient information to negotiate or litigate. In these matters, there are several methods by which you can seek much needed information and documentation to get an accurate financial picture.

When should you consider propounding discovery?
While you should be very cautious about when/if discovery is necessary in your case (it can get very expensive and increase the level of animosity between litigants), if some or all of the below questions apply to your case, you will want to consider strategizing a plan for discovery.

What if you do not have enough money to conduct discovery?
If a party doesn’t have enough funds to undertake discovery, they may want to consider seeking an order from the court for payment of lawyer fees and costs from joint funds or from the separate property of the other spouse. The Family Code authorizes awards of fees and costs necessary to permit a party to litigate properly in certain circumstances. Additionally, if you propound discovery and your spouse does not thoroughly respond, you may have a cause of action against them for sanctions (mandatory fees and costs).

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