Litigant’s often wonder how seriously they must take the “discovery” process. Discovery essentially boils down to the gathering of information about the marriage and the litigants that later may become the foundation of a final settlement or trial decision. The answer is: very seriously.
Where the issues are hotly contested, responding to the other side’s discovery demands is an obvious necessity. However, in situations where the parties are working amicably towards a settlement, client’s often ask whether taking the time to go through what may very likely seem to be an onerous and expensive process is really necessary. It is.
The problem becomes readily apparent if you do not settle quickly because failing to respond to the other side’s discovery demands leaves you open for possible sanctions, suppression of evidence important to establishing your case, and possible waiver of your ability to get discovery from the other side. The bottom line? Protect yourself by complying with discovery demands, even while you attempt to settle.