In many marriages, often one spouse manages the household's finances. This is all well and good unless you end up going through a divorce and the lack of information for one spouse becomes a disadvantage. Before both spouses are able to engage in productive discussions regarding a divorce settlement, it is crucial for both parties to be on the same page and be fully aware of the marital financial situation regarding all property and debt acquired during the marriage. If a spouse agrees to a property settlement without fully understanding assets and liabilities, it is almost impossible for this to be fair. As such, full disclosure is imperative.
If one spouse refuses to share or exchange documents, there are more formal ways to go about legally compelling him or her to produce the necessary information:
- Request for Production of Documents: This request is a legal document that is served to either your spouse or your spouse's attorney. In it, a list of the necessary items is enclosed, along with a time frame during which the requested documents must be produced.
- Interrogatories: This is essentially a formal list of questions that your attorney will prepare and send to the opposing side. In most cases, these questions should be answered and sent back within a 30 to 45 day time period. If your spouse is late or ignores these questions, you might need to make a request for the court to compel your spouse to comply.
- Depositions: A deposition will give your attorney the chance to ask your spouse questions while he or she is under oath. In fact, anyone who might possess information that is pertinent to the case might be called in for a deposition. Whatever he or she says will be preserved in a written record for your attorney to refer to as necessary while the case progresses.
If you are able to effectively and honestly communicate and work together, you and your spouse will be able to achieve a more productive settlement. However, even if he or she is unwilling to work with you, any of the above options will be able to help you obtain the information you need to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
MURRIETA DIVORCE ATTORNEY
At Westover Law Group, we understand that divorce is never an easy choice to make and can often be an emotional process. We are here to effectively assist you and answer any questions you may have along the way. You do not have to go through this alone. Having experienced representation will go a long way in setting the foundation necessary for you to have the fresh start you deserve.