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How the Discovery Process Works During Divorce

When you are involved in a divorce proceeding, you’ll go through a process called discovery. Discovery happens in most legal cases. It’s a form of evidence-gathering, so that both parties are working with the same information. In a divorce proceeding, discovery is used to get a clear picture of a couple’s financial situation, including details of the marriage, children, prior agreements and other relevant details.

What’s involved in the discovery process?

Many divorces require the help of lawyers—but even before you’ve retained an attorney, you can start gathering your required information. For example, your lawyer will need your family’s full names, addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers, as well as dates when you started cohabitating or got married. They’ll also need to know where the wedding occurred, and if you had any prior marriages. If you had any prenuptial agreements, you’ll also need to provide a copy of that.

The divorce discovery process typically centers around finances, but there may be other elements involved. Generally, you and your spouse will need to disclose financial data like tax returns, pay stubs, assets, retirement accounts, debts, credit card statements, mortgages and more. This data acts as the starting point for the discovery process. Your lawyer will review your financial and marital information, then request information from your spouse to fill in the blanks.

Typically, you should expect to work with your financial professionals and lawyer to put a dollar value on everything you own, both separately and jointly. This helps ensure property is divided equitably or according to your agreement—and that neither spouse is hiding assets from the other.

Divorce and the discovery process are significantly easier when you have a great attorney by your side. For help with your divorce and discovery, call the experienced divorce lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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