What Can Happen If You Don't Comply With Discovery Demands In Your Divorce Case

Most, if not all, contested divorce cases where there are issues of how much money does a person have or earn will involve financial disclosure/discovery. Often there will be court orders or attorney demands requiring the production of financial records, tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan applications, business records, deeds to property and all other financial records for a specified period of time. In addition, there may also be a demand that Interrogatories are answered (these are written questions that are to be answered under oath and in writing). Finally, there may also be a date set for depositions which are oral questions asked with both attorneys and clients present under oath. The questions and answers are recorded stenographically. This information is necessary for child support calculations, maintenance determination and asset distribution.

So what happens if you do not provide the documents requested and you have them in your possession, or if you refuse to answer Interrogatories or refuse to attend your deposition. Usually, the other attorney will either discuss the issue with the judge at the next court conference or will make a motion to enforce the court order or attorney demand. The court will usually give an additional opportunity to comply with the directives. If you continue to refuse to comply another request will be made for an order that will either prevent you from testifying at the future trial about financial matters, determine the issues solely based upon the proof of the other party and allow the court to calculate, as best it can, your income and assets without your participation.

It is never a good thing for a judge to think that you are not playing fair, hiding assets, not disclosing income or playing other financial games. The consequences, financially, are usually pretty severe. Therefore, it is best to produce your records, answer the questions and have your case resolved with your active participation.