Fighting For Child Custody Through Discovery Motions
Even though your lawyer has your child custody case well in hand, it's extremely helpful if you understand what is going on. During a divorce, contested child custody cases call for information and lots of it. Read on and find out more about discovery motions and evidence during your child custody dispute.
What Is Custody Discovery?
Discovery is simply the exchange of information back and forth between the parties. It's a way to order your spouse to give up things like financial records and to share things like police reports, photographs, and medical records. In a disputed child custody case, evidence of poor parenting, abuse, drug use, and more is requested and exchanged. Needless to say, the evidence passed back and forth can be ugly and damaging. It should be noted that discovery procedures work both ways and you are just as likely to be the object of requests, investigations, and evidence gathering as your spouse.
Routine and Automatic Evidence
When parents divorce, even if they agree on custody issues, some basic information is required when filing. While this level of discovery can be routine, it's still important to know things like where the other parent is residing, employment locations, income, the child's health insurance information, and more. This info may be useful when probing further using background checks or a surveillance service.
Interrogatories During Discovery
With an eye towards seeking information, an interrogatory presents as a list of questions to be answered. The answers are provided under oath and all may be used during the divorce trial. For example, you may ask (and be asked) what type of living environment you can provide for your child.
Admissions During Discovery
Like interrogatories, admissions are written statements that are either agreed to or denied. They are usually yes or no type questions like "Do you admit that you struck your child on July 15, 2020?".
Production and Disclosures
This aspect of discovery calls for the parties to submit certain documents or other evidence. Tax returns, DNA results, expert witness statements, third-party witness statements, and other evidence is entered into the evidence at trial.
If information can be gathered using the written means above, a deposition may not be necessary. Depositions are vocal testimony by the parties and may shine a light on issues of parental fitness not revealed through written evidence. For example, a parent who is easily angered when being questioned would likely not make a good showing.
To find out more, speak to a divorce lawyer.