The discovery process involves collecting all the documents and records regarding the parties community property, debt and income. This includes all real property and financial assets such as investments and retirement accounts. The discovery process also includes interrogatories (questions) and documentation related to the custody of the children. The discovery process can be a lengthy process if the parties do not cooperate. Despite the fact that the discovery requests themselves are pretty standard and accepted by the Courts, this can be the most time-consuming and expensive part of divorce litigation. Unfortunately, some parties or their attorneys simply do not abide by the rules of discovery. This can require the filing of Motions to Compel the production of discovery.
Upon the filing of a Motion to Compel, the Court will set a hearing. The party that files the Motion will present to the court the items that have been legally requested and denied. If the Court finds that the opposing party has not complied with discovery, the Court can order that the discovery be provided in full. The Court can also award attorney fees and costs. Unfortunately, despite obvious violations of the rules of discovery, and even Court findings of violations of the rules of discovery and the Court’s own orders, judges often refuse to award attorney fees. This refusal sometimes leads to further abuses, and subsequent motions in what can be become a long, frustrating, and expensive cycle of violations of the rules of discovery, the rules of procedure, and even the Court’s own orders.