A divorce can be an overwhelming experience. Add to that the stress of discovery and you have a recipe for disaster. This process can feel very intrusive and tedious, but we are here to help ease some of the stress of this daunting process. In short, the point of discovery is to avoid surprises at trial and build the strongest possible case. Each party will serve written discovery requests on the opposing party in order to learn the facts of the case. This process helps ensure we can negotiate a fair agreement. Please keep in mind that our representation is only as good as your participation.
The most important thing you as the client can do to ease the stress of discovery is to keep the lines of communication open. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If there are any required documents you cannot obtain, let us know. If we have any questions for you, it is helpful if we can contact you quickly. Any paperwork you are given to complete, please do so as soon as possible. There are tight deadlines and many people underestimate the time it takes to complete discovery responses.
- Be organized – the less time we must spend organizing your discovery documents, the more money you can save. If possible, send documents electronically. Make sure to clearly label each document and save all documents in chronological order. If you bring a huge stack of papers into the office, it can take a significant amount of billable time to organize and review everything.
- Use the Paralegals/Legal Assistants – Understandably, many clients want to communicate directly to the attorney every time they call. When it comes to the discovery process, the staff should take the lead. The hourly rate is considerably less, and they will be more familiar with the discovery aspect of your case.
- Be honest – Not only is it unethical to withhold documents, it is also impractical. When you provide your responses, you swear under oath that they are true and complete. Throughout the discovery process, everything will come out eventually. Be honest and upfront so we can prepare for whatever we need to. Also, don’t use discovery as an opportunity to embarrass or spite your spouse. Stick to your core goals and try to keep emotions in check.
It is important to remember that this is not an overnight process, but it is an essential process to the completion of your case. It is imperative to be honest with your attorney or we cannot do the best job possible on your case. The best thing you can do is think of this as a transaction to be competed instead of a battle to be won.
For personal legal help from a qualified attorney, contact the Autumn Beck Blackledge, PLLC team at (850) 404-7263. We can also be reached online via our contact form.