Prepare For The Discovery Process In Divorce
If you’re headed for divorce, you should know that you’re about to be faced with multiple documents, meetings, and, yes, headaches. Divorce can be a time-consuming process to be sure. A significant part of the divorce process relates to discovery, the sharing of information with the opposing side of the divorce:
1- You’ll be given a list of documents and information outlining what you are expected to share with the other party in your divorce. It’s essential to be comprehensive in what you provide to set an example for the other side to do the same.
2- Interrogatories require both parties to specify details regarding financial holdings, vehicles, trust funds, retirement plans, real estate holdings, work history, education and so forth. It is critical that you are forthright and honest with this information!
3- Some divorces may require depositions from family and friends, employers, and others who may have information about your spouse’s behaviors and/or habits, your parenting skills, and other issues relevant to the matter.
When Couples Fight Over Children
In some circumstances, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appropriate. Parents who have trepidations about their soon-to-be ex’s willingness or ability to appropriately care for children may request that a GAL be appointed to represent the best interests of the children. Sometimes the court makes this appointment without any requests from parents at all. A GAL’s duty is to represent the children’s interests in divorce. They are responsible for conducting an investigation to determine the suitability of each home for the children. Specific concerns about your spouse will help to guide enquiries. You may wish to consider asking the GAL to do the following:
1- Interview—and even subpoena testimony–from educators, neighbors, counselors, and others who are familiar with the kids and their relationship with each parent.
2- Lead a meeting with concerned parties to discuss custody and visitation concerns.
3- Recommend you get primary custody in a temporary custody recommendation.
Splitting the Property
Property division is the most important consideration sans the issues related to children in any divorce. If you would like to keep possession of particular items, request them in writing and be amenable to giving up something else in exchange. You have the right to request an inspection of property, which could be important if you’ve had to leave the primary residence. If there is a suspicion that your spouse may attempt to hide assets, a forensic accountant can trace financial holdings and get to the bottom of it. Additionally, consider:
1- Having assets appraised to get a clear picture of value;
2- Prove through documentation that certain property was owned prior to the marriage.
Your Divorce Advocate
Divorce can be a complex mix of documents, negotiations, and uncertainty. At The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our accomplished Baltimore family attorneys always advise and support as they work to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your concerns, schedule a confidential consultation in our Baltimore office today.