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Discovery is the process of obtaining information from the opposing party in the course of a lawsuit. Discovery is governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (Pa. R.C.P.). Discovery is allowed in alimony and equitable distribution without leave of court. The information requested must be relevant to the case pursuant to Pa. R.C.P. 4003.1. In divorce, the court gives much leeway as to what is relevant since the factors for equitable distribution allow for broadness.

Formal discovery methods must adhere to the Rules of Civil Procedure and the acceptable methods include interrogatories, depositions, production requests, subpoenas to produce documents, and request for admission. Interrogatories and production request are the most frequent methods of discovery in divorce cases. Interrogatories are a written set of questions for the other party to answer. A production request lists all the documents a party is seeking. Subpoenas are utilized as well when it is necessary to get information directly from the source in the instance a party does not have it or will not cooperate in turning it over. Authorizations can be acquired in lieu of a subpoena if a party has not produced the documents themselves but is willing to cooperate in signing the authorization for the opposing party to do the legwork in obtaining the documentation.

Due to the expense to the parties for discovery, lawyers will sometimes agree to exchange discovery informally. This generally involves the lawyers deciding what information is relevant and then gathering that information and sending it to the other side in exchange for receiving documentation that they need from the other side that is also relevant.

Rule 1930.5 states that there shall be no discovery in a simple support, custody or Protection from Abuse proceeding unless authorized by court.

It is not uncommon for parties contemplating divorce to try to hide assets in an attempt to keep them out of the marital estate that will be up for distribution. One of the biggest red flags as far as potential hidden assets is if the spending habits or lifestyle of a party is way more than would be expected based on their reported income. You should also be wary of a party who owns their own business. If they deal in cash they can easily hide money. Additionally, what they report for tax purposes is not always indicative of income available for spousal or child support. It complex cases it may become necessary to hire an expert to analyze income flow. Top level executives may receive different forms of income. Examples include stock options, bonuses, car allowances, and deferred compensation plans. Even military members often have a compensation package that goes beyond their base salary.

Discovery is a good start in seeking to track down assets, hidden or otherwise. Tax returns and bank statements are good to review in terms of sources of income as well as where the income is going. A tax return can show rental income, interest on bank accounts, dividends on stock, etc. Bank statements can show any transfers of money and identify where it went to. Parties can subpoena documents directly from the custodian of the documents if the spouse will not cooperate and turn them over. If these initial avenues of discovery do not yield the desired results, a party will have to make a decision as to whether to invest more money in the chase for hidden assets. Any party that anticipates hiding or dissipating assets may become a problem during the pendency of the divorce should obtain a court injunction right away preventing the dissipation or transfer of any marital assets.

Discovery is the process of obtaining information from the opposing party in the course of a lawsuit. Discovery is governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (Pa. R.C.P.). Rule 1930.5 states that there shall be no discovery in a simple support, custody or Protection from Abuse proceeding unless authorized by court. In order for you to be allowed to send discovery in a custody matter, you must get permission from the court. If a request for discovery is granted, discovery would then proceed as in any other matter.

Formal discovery methods include interrogatories, depositions, production requests, subpoenas to produce things and/or documents, and/or requests for admission. Interrogatories and production request are the most frequent methods of discovery in family law cases. Interrogatories are a written set of questions for the other party to answer. A production request lists all the documents a party is seeking. Subpoenas are a good tool when it is necessary to get information directly from the source in the instance a party does not have it, will not cooperate in turning it over, or you suspect they may tamper with the documentation. Examples of relevant documentation to seek in a custody matter may include health care records for the children and/or the other parent, academic records, any prior evaluations completed, expert reports, criminal records of the other parent, and information on potential witnesses.

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Discovery is the part of the divorce process when information is gathered regarding marital assets and debts and separate assets. One of the main tools used to gather this information are Interrogatories and Production Requests. Many a client has gasped when they have receive 100 very detailed questions to answer or Production Requests that are pages long asking for a large quantity of documents. When you are served with Interrogatories or Productions Requests, it is best to remain calm. This is a standard part of the divorce process. Many of the questions may not apply to your case as attorneys try to cover every possible question and uncover every possible asset. When answering these questions, it is best to put that you do not have any if it is an asset such as a business that you do not have. If the question asks for records that are accounts in joint names, you also do not have to produce them. You can merely indicate that the other side has equal access to this information. Before you panic, talk to your attorney. He or she can explain to you what you essentially need. In most cases, that will be any and all records that are only in your name or your name with a third party, not your spouse.

Discovery is the process of obtaining information from the opposing party in the course of a lawsuit. Discovery is governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (Pa. R.C.P.). Rule 1930.5 states that there shall be no discovery in a simple support, custody or Protection from Abuse proceeding unless authorized by court. In order for you to be allowed to send discovery in a support matter, you must get your case deemed complex by the court. An example of a potentially complex support case requiring discovery would be one where one, or both, of the parties are self-employed. Procedure in Bucks County calls for a hearing date on the issue of whether or not discovery should be permitted. If so, the substantive portion of the hearing will be postponed pending completion of discovery as granted.

Formal discovery methods must adhere to the Rules of Civil Procedure and the acceptable methods include interrogatories, depositions, production requests, subpoenas to produce things and/or documents, and/or requests for admission. Interrogatories and production request are the most frequent methods of discovery in family law cases. Interrogatories are a written set of questions for the other party to answer. A production request lists all the documents a party is seeking. Subpoenas are a good tool when it is necessary to get information directly from the source in the instance a party does not have it, will not cooperate in turning it over, or you suspect they may tamper with the documentation. Examples of relevant documentation to seek in a support may include personal and business tax returns, W-2s, 1099 Forms, pay stubs, income projections, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, business ledgers, summaries or appraisals of all assets/property/equipment owned by the business, and statements for all personal and business bank accounts and/or credit cards.

Click here to read more about support.

Discovery is the process of obtaining information from the opposing party in the course of a lawsuit. Discovery is governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (Pa. R.C.P.). Rule 1930.5 states that there shall be no discovery in a simple support, custody or Protection from Abuse proceeding unless authorized by court. In order for you to be allowed to send discovery in a support matter, you must get your case deemed complex by the court. Discovery is allowed in alimony, equitable distribution, counsel fee and expense proceedings and in complex support cases without leave of court. The information requested must be relevant to the case pursuant to Pa. R.C.P. 4003.1. In divorce, the court gives much leeway as to what is relevant since the factors for equitable distribution allow for broadness.

Formal discovery methods must adhere to the Rules of Civil Procedure and the acceptable methods include interrogatories, depositions, production requests, subpoena to produce things and/or documents, and request for admission. Interrogatories and production request are the most frequently used methods of discovery in divorce cases. Interrogatories are a written set of questions for the other party to answer. A production request lists all the documents a party is seeking. Subpoenas are utilized as well when it is necessary to get information directly from the source in the instance a party does not have it or will not cooperate in turning it over. Due to the expense to the parties for discovery, lawyers will sometimes agree to exchange discovery informally. This generally involves the lawyers deciding what information is relevant and then gathering that information and sending it to the other side in exchange for receiving documentation that they need from the other side that is also relevant.

Click here to read more on Discovery.