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What does the discovery process in divorce entail?

Although mediation is becoming a popular method of negotiating settlement agreements when marriages end, not all Kentucky couples manage to keep communication channels open. The procedures in a litigated divorce are typically more complicated than those avoiding the court. The first steps -- before going to divorce court -- will involve the process known as discovery in which the attorneys of both spouses will try to find out details of the opposition's planned arguments in order to prepare a strong defense strategy.

The discovery process involves five steps, starting with disclosure when both sides can each make a list of documents or other evidence they need for their respective arguments. Next follows interrogatories during which time each spouse can send a list of questions to the other -- often limited in number. Then each party can send the other a list of facts, asking him or her to admit or deny the different statements. This step is known as admissions of fact.

The next step is called request for production which gives both parties the opportunity to seek documents like income statements, bank statements and any others that might benefit a person's case. The final step is depositions which allow each party to take sworn testimonies from the other side along with any witnesses. Spouses often reach an agreement at this stage -- before going to divorce court. However, if no settlement is reached, anything said during the sworn testimony can be used in the court.

It would not be unusual for a person to find all this overwhelming. However, it is not something anybody has to do without help. The services of an experienced divorce attorney can navigate the process and provide the necessary guidance and support throughout discovery proceedings and beyond. Before filing for divorce, it might be wise to gain the required knowledge about the available divorce options in Kentucky to allow making informed decisions.