Sandra Rosenbloom, a family lawyer answers.
In the many years in which I have been practicing family law, I have found that a great deal of time, effort and money can be spent by both husband and wife in collecting and distributing necessary financial information. Clients who are going through mediation or the collaborative practice of divorce know upfront that they will be expected to divulge all information without formal discovery requests, short-circuiting the discovery process and holding down expenses. In traditionally litigated divorces, formal discovery requests demand compliance within a certain time frame. If ignored, whether deliberately or not, repeated formal discovery requests may lead to litigation, adding to costs and expenses. Controlling these costs requires both spouses to be cooperative and forthcoming with bank statements, tax returns, brokerage accounts, credit card statements and other requested documents.