In Divorce, Mandatory Discovery Helps Spouses Get Organized
For couples contemplating divorce in Greater Atlanta, retaining a skilled divorce lawyer is a wise first step. The court procedures and legal process can be complex, requiring specific documents to be completed in a specified manner and within a certain time frame. A divorce attorney can guide you smoothly through the potential confusion, making sure that all the necessary steps and forms are completed accurately and on time.
At the beginning of the divorce process in Fulton County, you and your spouse will each receive a mandatory request for production of documents. These documents cover a spectrum of financial and personal topics, and they are intended to gather the information necessary for fair and equitable property division to take place.
What Do These Documents Cover?
If you file for divorce in Fulton County, the court will require you and your spouse to produce a number of documents covering 16 topics. Some of the information you will be asked to provide includes:
- Evidence such as pay stubs that detail the income you earned over the past 12 months
- All W-2 forms, K-1 forms and other IRS forms for the past year
- The last three years’ worth of federal and state income tax returns, personal and intangible property tax returns and gift tax returns
- Your most recent statements for any pension plans, retirement plans, stocks, securities, 401(k) accounts, bonds, profit-sharing plans, bank accounts and other liquid fund assets
- Any prenuptial or separation agreements created between you and your spouse
The Basics Of Mandatory Discovery In Fulton County
The court uses the term “mandatory discovery” to refer to the documents you must complete to determine both parties’ income, property and other assets that are subject to equitable distribution. The documents themselves include a mandatory interrogatories form and mandatory request for production of documents. Together, this information will be used to help create a fair settlement agreement.
With years of experience in Georgia divorce cases, The Siemon Law Firm can help you gain a thorough understanding of what these documents entail and how to complete them in an accurate and timely manner. Our attorneys will make sure your paperwork fully complies with the court’s requirements and guide you through the process.
If your spouse’s paperwork seems incomplete or questionable, we can pursue our own discovery process to uncover the information you need to make sure your interests are protected. Being untruthful during mandatory discovery is illegal.
Step One In The Mandatory Discovery Process
In most cases, the first mandatory discovery form you will need to fill out is the mandatory interrogatories document. This form comprises a number of different topics and asks a variety of questions. The information you provide must be honest, to the best of your knowledge. The topics covered include:
- Income information from all sources, not just your primary job
- Children in the household from other relationships
- Contact information, including current address
- Other legal actions you may anticipate
- Nonmarital property interest claims
- Expenses related to your children
- Employment information
- Background information
- Property held by others
- Insurance information
- Plans for child care
- Health information
All sections of the mandatory interrogatories document must be filled out accurately and completely. Because you must complete this document under oath, misrepresentation or fraud is considered perjury and carries heavy consequences.
Contact Our Fulton County Family Law Firm
Do you have questions or concerns about the documents you will be required to produce during the mandatory discovery process? If so, do not hesitate to schedule a confidential and personal consultation with one of our experienced Atlanta divorce lawyers. Simply call The Siemon Law Firm at 770-888-5120, or contact us online today.