For more information on the discovery process see: The Supreme Court of BC’s The Discovery Process or The Family Law in BC Examination for Discovery Guide.
Discovery is a legal way to exchange information. It means getting access to relevant information your former spouse has about the case. This can be done by sharing documents, (such as income statements), or by asking them to attend an examination for discovery, (an interview where you get to ask them questions about the issues). Your former spouse will have the same right to discover you, which means you should share information and attend an examination for discovery if requested. It is optional whether or not you wish to discover your former spouse. There are different ways to discover but we will discuss the most common one: Examination for Discovery.
An Examination for Discovery is a meeting to gather information from your former spouse by asking them questions. They take place usually at the office of a court reporter, who keeps a written record of all that is said during the discovery.
The examination can take place after the Notice of Family Claim and Response are filed. To set up one, book a court reporter at a time when everyone involved (you, your former spouse and lawyers) is available. Then you must serve the Appointment to Examine for Discovery (Form F21) on your former spouse seven days before the date of the examination.
What to expect:
You can get the transcript of the discovery to use as evidence in court. But be aware that, depending on the length, these transcripts can get expensive. Therefore, be sure to take good notes while conducting a discovery.
Conducting an examination tips:
Attending a discovery tips:
Fill out the Examination for Discovery Worksheet before you conduct one so you won’t forget to ask any questions you want to ask.