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Discovery: An important divorce proceeding step

You cannot wait to move forward with your own life following divorce, but at the same time, you may worry about how you will fare financially as a single individual. For this reason, one of your biggest areas of focus during the divorce process is making sure that you get all of the marital assets to which you are entitled.

When it comes to asset distribution, an especially important step during your divorce proceeding is completing the discovery process. Here is a look at what this process entails in West Virginia.

The basics of discovery

After you have filed for divorce, you and your future ex will need to exchange information concerning your economic, personal and financial statuses. Regarding finances in particular, you will need to share details about your ownership, income and debt.

This process, known as discovery, is critical because it allows you, the other party and the divorce court to begin the process of determining how to divide your marital assets in the fairest manner possible. It also generates significant information for handling divorce matters like child support as well as spousal support.

A rundown on documentation and interrogatories

You can complete the discovery process in a couple of ways. One, you can submit documents that provide information about the separate property you own and your income, for example. Two, you can ask your future ex to offer justification for the specific demands he or she is making. This formal question is known as an interrogatory.

For instance, perhaps your future ex-husband would like to have custody of the children. You can ask him to explain his current relationships with the children. In addition, if a future ex-wife's income information from 2016 seems to feature a discrepancy, you could ask her to verify that she did indeed generate a certain amount of income that year. Your future ex could also ask you questions about the information you provide.

The honesty factor in discovery

You might feel tempted to avoid disclosing certain pieces of information. However, the truth is that the information you are thinking about concealing will probably end up being revealed during discovery, especially if your divorce case becomes contentious. For this reason, it is important you remain honest during this process. Your attorney can guide you through it, helping you to approach it in the most personally beneficial manner possible.

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Joseph Brophy Cordell, Attorney at Law
115 1/2 West King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone: 304-707-0673
Fax: 304-263-3378
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