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Informal Discovery

Formal discovery is important because it allows parties to gain critical important relvant evidence that will either help their case or prepare them to handle evidence that does not help their case. However, using several of the formal discovery mehtods (Interrogatories, Requests for Production, Requests for Admission and Depositions) can add up in cost very quickly. Informal discovery, or information gathered from the party's own personal records is typically easier to get and much more cost effective than sending formal discovery to the opposing party for such information. Additionally, it may necessary to gather important information or evidence prior to the start of a divorce action or just after the divorce action. Formal discovery is only available during the divorce action. For things like discovering hidden assets and evidence of cheating and adultery, informal discovery may be very useful. 
 
Informal discovery, or information gathered from the party's own personal records is typically easier to get and much more cost effective.

Third Parties

If a document or important evidence is in the possession of a third party (generally someone who is not a spouse or party to the divorce or family law action), informal discovery may also be conducted by virtue of interviewing and gathering information from those third parties. With a third party that is willing to be cooperative, it may be possible to obtain a statement, affidavit, or any documents or records that the third party may have in their possession. 
 

Types of Information you Could Gather Informally

Technically you can gather just about anything you personally have legal access to. For example, you can pull bank statements online, investment or retirement account statements, you can request copies of previous tax returns from the IRS, you can request your own credit report etc. Considering that people typically pay attorneys by the hour, you can save a lot of money gathering these documents yourself rather than paying your attorney to do many hours of formal discovery to obtain this information. 
 
It may be helpful to speak with one of our experienced Orlando or Tampa divorce lawyers find out what types of information you could gather informally and what discovery strategy would be most effective for you case. 

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