When you are navigating divorce the second part of the Texas divorce is the information gathering stage. You and your divorce attorney will begin discussing and working on gathering information about your finances including income and debts, property, accounts and other information. And, you will exchange some information about all of those areas of your marriage and divorce with your spouse during this time. The general term used for gathering information and exchanging information with the other side of a divorce by divorce lawyers is “discovery”.
Discovery can be done using formal methods and informal methods to exchange information or request certain types of information in a divorce.
When information is going to be exchanged by agreement, your divorce attorney and the other side may agree to exchange certain documents or information on a specific date, with a time deadline, and using a certain method to exchange that divorce information. This agreement will usually then become a written agreement, signed by everyone, and filed in the divorce case.
Another way that information can be exchanged initially during this part of the divorce is by court order or the court rules. You and your soon to be ex-spouse may reach an agreement about how and when the information will be exchanged. If you can’t reach an agreement about how to exchange, what to exchange or when you will probably need to have a hearing to have the judge in your case decide these questions. In a Denton County divorce, the Denton County Local Rules require the parties to exchange an Inventory of property and liabilities generally within 60 days of the divorce being started. However, people often can’t get all of the information they need that quickly and agree to a little bit more time to complete the exchange. Your lawyer is going to be seeking to get information you need from the opposing party.
During this time, you may be gathering information about how you are going to get the kids to and from school, how you are going to make their after-school activities and other issues. Or, you may be trying to gather information on what your kids’ school day looks like and how you are going to fit in to their lives now. Sometimes a hearing is necessary during this stage of your divorce. In my office, you will know and be prepared for this hearing if it is necessary.
You and your spouse have to make arrangements for this transition to single people during divorce and untangle your lives from one another during divorce. Sometimes you may not be able to agree to how that is supposed to happen. If that’s what is happening, we will be prepared for that hearing.
There are formal ways to get information. A few of the formal methods of discovery are interrogatories (formal questions), requests for production (formal requests to send documents or pictures) and requests for disclosure (formal questions about the case). Your divorce may require these if more informal ways will not be enough to get the information you need for your divorce.
This phase of your divorce can feel overwhelming because you may be receiving great amounts of information, new information and sometimes unwanted information about and from your spouse, about your finances, and what your “new normal”, during divorce and after divorce, is going to be. And, at the same time, you will probably be putting together your information to exchange with your soon to be ex-spouse.
Jill O’Connell, an experienced divorce lawyer and her team, will be able to help you through this time in your divorce.
This post is for informational purposes only. Please call to schedule an appointment for your case at 940-497-5454.