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Discovery in Divorce

In most New Jersey divorce cases , there is discovery period. This sometimes lengthy process can be expensive, but may be crucial for both the plaintiff and defendant in order to gather all the necessary information that may be relevant in the settlement or trial of the case. Discovery in a NJ divorce action includes interrogatories, depositions, notice to produce, request for admissions, appointment of experts such as a forensic accountant, property appraiser, employability expert, and the appointment of a mental health specialist to conduct psychological or custody evaluations. The discovery period for expedited track cases runs from 90 days from the date of service of the complaint and 120 days from the date of service of the complaint in standard track cases. However, the time for completion of discovery can be adjusted by the Judge in a NJ divorce case. Both parties shall be furnished with all documents or reports obtained during the discovery process.

R. 5:5-1 allows the following modes of discovery:


Depositions are sworn oral testimonies of experts, parties, and witnesses. Depositions are not permitted in matters relating to the elements that constitute grounds for a divorce, termination of domestic partnership, or the dissolution of a civil union. Therefore, one is not allowed to take a spouse’s deposition in regard to an act of adultery. A party wishing to take the deposition must give 10 days notice of the same.


Interrogatories are a set of written questions which the other spouse must answer under oath. They are permitted in regard to all relevant issues in family actions. Interrogatories are governed by R. 4:17.

Notice to Produce

A party may be asked to produce credit, bank, tax returns, business records, insurance policies, and other documents for inspection to aid in discovery. This request is called a “Notice to Produce” which is governed by R. 4:18-1.

Request for Admissions

A party to a family law action may request the other party to admit or deny some relevant facts from a list of written questions. This is called a “Request for Admissions” which is governed by R. 4:22-1.

It is important to note that there are consequences for failing to comply with the above discovery requests such as having a pleading suppressed or dismissed and having to pay the other party’s attorney fees incurred for a motion in regard to the same.

Peter Van Aulen is a certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a matrimonial attorney. A Certified matrimonial law attorney is a honor granted by the New Jersey Supreme Court to lawyers who have shown high levels of education, knowledge, skill and experience in family law. He has over 22 years experience as a New Jersey divorce and family law attorney and has successfully handled hundreds of divorces throughout the years. His office is located in Saddle Brook New Jersey. If you are faced with a NJ divorce, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at 201-845-7400 for a consultation.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances