“Discovery” and “subpoenas” are two terms that are used frequently by clients who are seeking information from the other party. These two terms require that a legal court action is pending whether for divorce, support, custody, child support. In Circuit Court actions, discovery is a broad term to include but not be limited to interrogatories (questions to a party), requests for production of documents to a party, subpoena duces tecum (requests for documents from a non-party), etc. They are served and there is a rule of how long the person/entity has to respond. In Juvenile and Domestic Relations Cases, some discovery requires a court order permitting it before it can be sent.
In negotiations, discovery cannot be used if no court action is pending. At that point, it is up to the parties to engage in voluntary, cooperative disclosure.