Getting a fair deal in your North Carolina divorce case means having a complete picture of the assets and liabilities in your marriage. If you’re not sure what assets and liabilities exist, you don’t know what to ask the judge to order. In a divorce case, the judgment of divorce is the most important document. It’s important to have a complete picture of the case in order to make sure that your judgment of divorce fairly represents the situation. You might wonder, what can you do if the other side doesn’t answer your discovery request?
Why are some people in the dark?
It’s common for one or both spouses to have an incomplete picture of the finances in a marriage. It might be that one spouse routinely handled the finances in the marriage. Maybe one of the spouses ran a business and didn’t share much about business dealings with the other spouse. It could be that one spouse intentionally tries to hide the financial picture from the other spouse.
What is discovery in a divorce case?
Fortunately, North Carolina law has a process to give both spouses an even playing field during the divorce process. You can use what’s called discovery in order to get information that’s in the other party’s control. You can ask them about bank accounts, their investments, whether they’ve given money or property away and anything else that might shed light on their financial picture. There are a number of different ways that you can get information including depositions, written interrogatories and subpoenas. When you submit discovery, the person responsible for answering the discovery should answer truthfully and within the time limits allowed by the law.
What can I do if the other side doesn’t answer my discovery?
Spouses don’t always answer honestly. They might provide false information, they might give you incomplete information, and they might refuse to provide any kind of response to your discovery request. Fortunately, you can ask the court to help.
Using North Carolina law 1A-1, Rule 37, you can ask the court for an order compelling discovery. The court can even order the other side to pay you for needing to bring the motion. If the person still doesn’t comply with discovery, the court may hold them in contempt and take additional measures to compel their compliance with the court order. If you’re considering or going through a North Carolina divorce, an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney can help you understand how discovery works and what you can do if the other side doesn’t cooperate with your discovery request.