Discovery is the process of requesting and providing information in a divorce. Of course, requesting information from the other party is relatively easy. Providing information to the other party is more complicated, because you are the one responding. You may feel like the requests for your personal information are invasive and unnecessary.
The general rule is that the court will allow any and all discovery that is arguably relevant. So when you are in the process of responding to discovery there are three categories, and one of them is not whether or not you want to provide the information.
The three categories are: (a) what is requested does not exist or apply; (b) what is requested does exist and you have it handy; and (c) what is requested does apply, but you do not have it handy.
If the request is made for you to provide all documentation pertaining to real estate that you own, and you do not own any real estate, then it is an example of Category A. If you do own real estate, then an example of Category B may be your most recent tax statement, your most recent mortgage statement and maybe even the settlement statement on your purchase of the residence. An example of Category C might be an appraisal of your house, or the Realtor’s recommendations for what needs to happen to prepare the house for sale.
The best way to begin tackling your responses to discovery is to follow up with your attorney (if you have one) or the other attorney (if you don’t have one), or the other party (if neither of you has an attorney) with a rundown of the three categories: (a) what is not applicable; (b) what is handy; and (c) what is going to require some time and effort to produce. The sooner you address this with your attorney, the other attorney or the other party (as the case may be), the better.