Discovery in a family law case can be voluminous. An attorney can ask for anything. Well, not exactly anything. The discovery request must lead to relevant admissible evidence. There are so many times that I have had a client come to me and can’t understand why the opposing party is asking for something. And if I tell the client that the opposing party is allowed to ask that, then all of a sudden the client gets mad at me for not being aggressive enough. We certainly fight for every inch that we can. When representing men and in family law, our firm truly believes that you need to be over prepared and over aggressive. But when it comes to discovery most fighting is simply unnecessary and only benefits the attorneys by enabling them (us) to charge for fighting.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) in family law you can ask for practically anything. Think about it, discovery questions can lead to almost anything. Bank statements, credit card statements, loan applications, they can all lead to potentially hidden money. Or evidence of an affair. Or evidence of wasteful spending. All of these little what seems to be irrelevant stuff can lead to extremely relevant stuff. At our firm we have an accountant that works for us to hunt down money. He has found money from just the hint of something going wrong on a loan application. Social media discovery requests can lead to affairs or even illegal activity. There are avenues to fight unreasonable discovery requests. We fight them all the time. The best way to do this is through what is called a Motion for a Protective Order or some type of motion limiting discovery requests. These motions can prevent the unnecessary over litigating that some attorneys love so much.

There are different time limits on discovery as well. For example, if you are served with a set of Interrogatories, or a Request to Produce or a Request for Admissions with the initial paperwork, that timeframe is usually 45 days. The time starts on that when service is perfected. Any additional discovery requests during litigation are due within 30 days. You have to be careful when you answer all these discovery requests because they are usually under oath. Also, do not give more information than is requested. For example, what I like to tell people during a deposition is if somebody asks you “what time is it”, do not tell them how to build a clock. Answer the exact question. Different forms of discovery come in things such as Interrogatories, Request to Produce, and Request for Admissions. Interrogatories are basically just questions. Answer the questions directly without giving too much information. Less is more.

A Request to Produce is usually for documents. You have to provide these things if they are in your possession or they are easily attainable. You do not have to jump through a ton of hoops, however, but you do have to make a reasonable effort. Request for Admissions are tricky. If you do not answer them in a timely manner, they could be admitted by you. You do not want to admit things that you did not actually do. Something pretty important to remember is that failure to comply with discovery can lead to sanctions or even having your pleadings stricken. It is very serious to comply with discovery. There are some tricks that attorneys use to try to intimidate through discovery, do not fall for them. For example, let’s say you have a hearing coming up in a week or trial in 10 days and an attorney sends you a discovery request and say that it is due at the time of the hearing or the trial. There is no rule that says that you must comply with that. You have to comply with the rules as set forth in the Florida Rules of Procedure.

Most things do not have to be complied with for 30 days. Rule 1.350 in the Florida Rules of Procedure governs the timing rule. Good cases to look on this if you are fighting it in Court is Ohio Casualty Insurance Company v. Jackman, and Devereux v. McIntosh. Basically, a trial subpoena cannot be used to circumvent the 30 day rule provided in the rules. Kenny Leigh & Associates is a family law firm that exclusively represents men in the State of Florida. We have offices all around the state. Go to to learn more.

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