In every family case involving divorce, parenting, annulment, civil unions, and more, the Court is now requiring each party to disclose documentation to the other party. The documentation includes tax returns, pay stubs, and health insurance information among other general financial documentation. Yet, the important part of these new rules is that they are mandatory. If you do not disclose, then you will face penalties. A party might not be able to offer any document into evidence, or even talk about that evidence at trial if the document was required under the new rule. A party may not even be able to conduct additional discovery (information/document requests) or file any discovery motions seeking information if they did not comply with the rule.
What does this mean for someone new to the family court? Well, you can find a copy of the rule here. As you read through it, you notice it mostly has to do with assets of each party involved in the case. For a divorce, this is easy to understand. But how about an unwed parent case? Well, the answer to that question lies generally in the area of child support. Courts want to have as much objective information as possible in order to make a more sound and reasoned decision. This helps avoid unjust or over-burdensome support orders that were based on limited information.