In any family law matter, each side is entitled to ask for and to receive documents and information from the other side. This process is called “discovery”. The most common forms of discovery are depositions and requests for production.
The purpose of an examination for discovery is two-fold.
- To prove the case of the examining party
- To disprove the case of the party examined
It enables a party to know which case they are called upon to meet and to enable the examining party to obtain admissions which may assist at trial.
Examinations for discovery cannot be videotaped without prior consent. Therefore, the questions and answers must be clear and concise and the documents exhibited must be clearly identified and the use of the documents put to the witness clearly specified.
The person being discovered shall produce for inspection all documents in his or her possession, which are not privileged, relating to the matters in question in the action. The Armstrong Legal team can assist you with what documents you need to produce.
The documents are typically put into evidence at trial by agreement when the documents are non-contentious i.e. income tax returns, financial statements, rates notices, bank statements or credit card statements. However, in cases where there are documents in dispute, such as written agreements purported to be signed by one party or both parties upon which a claim is based and the validity of the agreement is being challenged, the existence of the documents have to be proven so that the document is accepted.
Each party is able to inspect and make copies of all documents submitted, called an inspection. This assists in understanding the other parties financial circumstances and alerts you to any documents not produced. Having a thorough understanding of both parties financial circumstances can lead to an agreement reached prior to attending court. This helps reduce costs and time benefiting both parties.
Want to know more or to book an appointment, please contact Armstrong Legal and talk to one of our specialist family law solicitors on 1300 168 676.
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