WHAT IS DISCOVERY AND WHY DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE MY LAWYER WITH SO MANY DOCUMENTS?
The discovery process will seem extremely daunting when you are first introduced to it but once you understand the reasoning behind it won’t seem that bad after all. Discovery is the process of exchanging documentation with your spouse so there is full disclosure from both ends. In New York the division of property is by equitable distribution. The only way to equitably divide your assets is to know exactly what each spouse has to offer. You will be asked to fill out a Statement of Net Worth which will include all your assets and liabilities, along with providing documents that are requested by your spouses’ attorney, such as bank statements, retirement statements, insurance policies, etc.
If your case goes to trial and you chose not to comply with these requests, we will be precluded from presenting any of those financial documents in court and it can be extremely important to have such evidence at a trial. This process is absolutely necessary in a divorce case, even if you plan on settling with your spouse because it ensures there was full disclosure and each party is getting what they deserve.