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Divorce and Your Money - #1 Divorce Podcast

Visit us at www.DivorceAndYourMoney.com Divorce and Your Money is your guide to avoiding costly mistakes during divorce. Shawn Leamon, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and MBA, wants to help you learn the fundamentals of how to get a divorce. Whether you are looking for an uncontested divorce, a do it yourself divorce, or an online divorce, resources are available to offer guidance. Through his divorce podcast and divorce blog, Shawn offers his professional opinion on the best ways to handle the end of your marriage. He covers topics including how to file for divorce, divorcing a narcissist, and finding the best divorce attorney. Even tricky subjects such as a “what is a QDRO?” and “is alimony taxable?” are tackled through these venues. If you need to know what the first steps are or what you should do to head to trial during litigation, you can find resources to give you a step-by-step guide to what comes next. Think of his advice as an alternative to divorce support groups where you can find exactly what you need when you need it. He offers one-on-one divorce coaching to give you a solid grasp on the decisions that are bound to affect your financial future. Before you have a divorce decree in hand, you will likely go through some type of divorce mediation. For any spouse saying, “I want a divorce,” you need to make sure that you are getting the financial future you are entitled to. Do not allow yourself to be blinded by the emotional, legal, and financial burden that divorce can become. Instead, take control of your situation with sage wisdom to help all individuals make better financial decisions for their independent future. If you find yourself asking “where are the best divorce lawyers near me?”, Shawn can help you to recognize the best of the best. Whether you need a divorce in Texas, a divorce in Florida, or a divorce in New York, you will have all the knowledge you need to find the best team of professionals to assist you. You can start from a place of being legally separated or once you have already started to file for divorce using free divorce papers or an attorney. No matter where you or your marriage may be in the process, Shawn Leamon has professional advice to offer your unique situation. A simple no fault divorce or a high-stakes power struggle are all areas he has vast experience with during his work outside of Divorce and Your Money. Let his advice be a guide to help you get all that you need for a secure financial future in your divorce records. It will not make a difference whether you are getting a divorce in Ohio or a divorce in California if you are following the basic principles set out through Divorce and Your Money’s divorce blog, divorce podcast, and divorce coaching.
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Jul 20, 2017
This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

 

Dealing with the legal aspects of divorce can be convoluted, time-consuming, and frustrating. Therefore, it can seem overwhelming. The attorneys on both sides want to start with as much information as possible. You can hire divorce attorneys to gather and exchange this information.

This process is called an interrogatory or discovery, and it can work against you if you are not careful. Below is an explanation of the process. That way, you can understand it a bit better and proceed with more knowledge and caution.

 

What Is Discovery?

In any legal proceeding, each side has information that the other side needs before moving forward with negotiations or going to court. Remember, that information is exchanged during the discovery process.

There are several types of discovery for legal proceedings. The discovery for a divorce is called an interrogatory because of the way the questionnaire is designed.

Most states have a limit to the number of items on the interrogatory questionnaire. That way, one side does not bog the other side down with too much busywork. If given the chance, some lawyers would give the opposition an amount of information that is impossible to acquire.

A maximum response time is also allowed, which ensures that the divorce does not get held up because one side takes too much time with the discovery. The usual response time is around 30 days, but you should follow up with your state to make sure. There is an option to ask for an extension, but for it to be granted, you will need to show a good reason and an open line of communication with the other side.

 

Financial Interrogatory

This interrogatory involves the exchange of financial information for the division of property and alimony.

These questionnaires vary, but they universally ask for the following information in one form or another:

  • An itemization of income and assets
  • A record of how often you are paid
  • A list of all bank and investment accounts
  • The identity of witnesses you will be using in the case
  • Exhibits and evidence you will be using if the case goes to court

 

Custody Interrogatory

This exchange of information is used to determine the custody of the children, which is when a lot of divorces get difficult. It is never a good idea to let any kind of emotional response through in a discovery document, so try to remain as factual as possible.

The interrogatory will mainly consist of questions about your spouse, especially regarding anything that might deem them as an unfit parent.

If you make any allegations claiming that your spouse is unfit, make sure that they are accurate. Then you can easily back them up with a good amount of proper evidence. If you are stretching the truth in any way, it will backfire and make you look bad in the eyes of the court.

There will also be a list to prove childcare expenses so that any child-support deals can be worked out.  The requested expenses will mainly consist of:

  • Tuition and school supplies
  • Babysitters
  • Clothing
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Medical treatment

There is also a space on the custody interrogatory, where you can respond to any allegations that have been made against your character. Make sure to provide as much evidence as possible that proves that the allegations are false, which can include character-witness affidavits, affidavits from teachers and coaches, emails, and texts.

 

Watch Out for Trick Questions

One cannot stress how important it is to follow instructions to the letter. It is a lawyer’s job to try to get more out of the other side whenever possible, so bear in mind that any interrogatory used in a divorce proceeding will use as much legalese as possible. It is always a good idea to get outside consulting, either from a lawyer or a divorce coach. Then you can make sure that you have not missed anything, and that you have not provided too much information.

Make sure that you have checked, rechecked, and triple-checked everything. This process is another reason why it is a good idea to hire an outside consultant. Objective, fresh eyes will help you see mistakes, especially anything that is missing, which could count against you in court.

Do not put this process off until the last minute. It makes you more vulnerable to mistakes, and it raises the impact of the stress of the divorce, which is already going to be stressful enough.

As you can see, an interrogatory is one of the most important parts of your divorce process. To move forward in a way that benefits you, you need to answer interrogatories that your spouse’s divorce attorneys send you in the best, most strategic way possible.

The best strategy is to supply exactly the right amount of information, but it is extremely difficult to implement. You need your attorney to go through it with you, but it can be time-consuming. And remember, lawyers’ billable hours can be very costly.

To save yourself headaches, ask your attorney to help you with the interrogatory process. They have been trained to know exactly how to handle these kinds of questions to maximize your benefit.

Whichever way you choose to go, it is always advised to get started early. The sooner you get it filled out, the sooner the divorce can wrap up, and you can move forward.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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