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Discovery and Deposition: Two Important Components to Texas Family Law Cases

Generally speaking, discovery is the process by which you and your opposing party to a legal case can obtain information from the other party in preparation for a trial. In numerous divorce or child custody cases, discovery requests accompany an Original Petition. Discovery plays a crucial role in case development and strategy formation for trial. Conversely, it can aid in reaching reasonable settlements in mediation rather than proceeding to trial, benefiting both sides of the case.

How extensive will the discovery process be in your case?

First, we would need to consider you and your opposing party’s willingness to request specific pieces of information about the other. Your financial, social, and familial relationships with each other are all relevant in a family law case. Your attorney can craft requests for documents, responses to questions, and other information that can take a great deal of effort to produce. However, if you and your spouse have had little in the way of financial problems, marital infidelity, or other problems then your discovery process may be more informal or simple than other folks.

The complexity of your case determines the extent of the discovery process. Agreement between you and your spouse on custody arrangements simplifies matters, while contentious custody disputes require thorough discovery. Factors like family violence and substance abuse escalate the need for detailed investigation in potentially volatile situations.

Finally, some attorneys may insist on extensive discovery, even when it’s not essential. My advice: talk to prospective attorneys before starting your family law case to gauge their approach to discovery. While some cases require thorough investigation, others may need minimal effort. Avoid unnecessary expenses by ensuring your attorney’s strategy aligns with your case’s needs.