The Divorce Process in El Paso, Texas: From Beginning to End

The Discovery Process in El Paso Divorce Cases

Discovery is a formal process by which you and your lawyer can learn information about the other side's case. Also, you will probably be required to disclose information about your case. The discovery devices used by lawyers are set forth in the Rules of Procedure, which are promulgated by the Texas Supreme Court.

Discovery includes the following:

  • Written Requests for Admissions
  • Written Requests for Disclosure
  • Written Interrogatories (Questions)
  • Written Requests for Production of Documents and Things
  • Oral Depositions

An El Paso divorce lawyer can explain these discovery devices in more detail. The bottom line about discovery is this: There is no such thing as a trial by ambush. Chances are, if you plan on zinging your spouse at trial with a piece of information or a "smoking gun" document, his or her lawyer probably asked for it during the discovery phase of the case.

The El Paso divorce courts usually follow the Exclusionary Rule which, simply sated, is this: If the other side asked for it in discovery and you did not give it to them, you will not be allowed to use it at trial.

So, the lesson about discovery is: be forthcoming with your lawyer. Do not hold information back. If you fail to produce documents or provide information during discovery that you should have, you could be penalized in one of several ways:

  • You might not be permitted to use the information at trial.
  • Or, you may have to pay part of your spouse's attorney's fees.

The divorce court also has the option of cutting off your own discovery rights and, in cases of extreme misconduct, striking your pleadings. This would cause you to lose your case outright.

For examples of the types of information you might have to provide in response to discovery requests sent in an El Paso divorce case, click here.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854