Discovery is a phase in divorce where both spouses are required to disclose information and provide documents on their assets, debts, income and expenses. While this phase appears procedural in nature, discovery plays a significant role in the divorce property division.
Ensuring fair distribution
Discovery provides the parties and the court a complete picture of the marital estate. While it is a community property state, Texas follows an equitable distribution of marital properties. Hence, discovery is crucial in determining which asset forms part of the division and which remains a separate property of each spouse. This is vital for parties to make informed decisions and for the courts to equitably divide the assets and liabilities according to state laws.
Identifying hidden assets
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a spouse to attempt to hide assets to prevent them from being subject to divorce property division. With discovery, the court can issue an order requiring the submission of property and financial documents, testimonies and other relevant records to uncover any undisclosed or undervalued assets.
Properly valuating assets
In property division, an accurate valuation of all marital properties is essential for a fair division. Discovery can involve appraisals of property, business valuations and expert assessments to determine the true worth of various assets. Accordingly, this helps the court distribute the properties equitably.
Realizing a fair division
The discovery process in divorce property division is crucial for ensuring that both parties have the necessary information to reach an equitable settlement or for the courts to make a fair distribution of assets and liabilities.
To achieve this, it is crucial to work with a team that will engage in reasonable discovery that protects all parties’ rights and property interests.