What Is the Discovery Process in an Illinois Divorce?
The discovery process is an important part of every divorce case. During this process, each spouse will be able to learn about the assets and debts that are included in the marital estate, as well as the income, financial assets, and liabilities of the other spouse. This process ensures that both spouses are fully informed about the property to be divided in the divorce, and the information uncovered during discovery can play an essential role as spouses negotiate a settlement agreement.
Discovery can generally be divided into two main categories: formal discovery and informal discovery. Informal discovery usually occurs early in the divorce proceedings, and it may involve the voluntary disclosure of information as a couple works to gain a full understanding of their financial situation. Formal discovery may be necessary if a couple owns complex assets or if there are concerns that some information has not been disclosed, and it includes legal procedures in which the parties make requests to each other or use other methods to gain relevant information.
Methods Used During Discovery
During the discovery process, spouses will gain a complete understanding of all information related to their marriage, each spouse's income and assets, their debts and liabilities, and their ongoing needs. The information gathered may inform decisions about how marital property will be divided, as well as the amount of child support or spousal support that may be paid, and it may even play a role in decisions about child custody. Some methods that may be used to uncover information during the discovery process include:
Interrogatories: These are written questions that are sent by one party to the other. After receiving this type of request, a person will generally be required to provide an answer to the other party within 28 days, and the information provided must be truthful and complete.
Requests for production of documents: A spouse may make a formal request to the other party for specific documents that are relevant to the divorce proceedings. These documents can include tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, credit card statements, mortgage documents, loan documents, financial statements, and anything else that might affect the divorce.
Requests for admission: One party may make a formal request for the other party to admit or deny certain facts or allegations that are relevant to the divorce proceeding. These requests can be used to simplify the issues addressed during a case.
Depositions: A party may be questioned under oath by the other spouse's attorney and their own attorney. This can provide important information about the divorce, and it can also help to identify any inconsistencies between testimony provided by each party.
Subpoenas: In some divorce cases, a party may need to obtain testimony or documents from third parties. A subpoena can be used to compel these individuals to provide information or documentation that is relevant to the divorce proceeding. In many cases, subpoenas may be used to obtain financial information from banks or other institutions.
Contact Our Oakbrook Terrace Divorce Discovery Lawyers
Discovery is an important part of the divorce process, because it allows each spouse to obtain information that they may not otherwise have been able to access. This creates a level playing field, which is essential to ensure that spouses can negotiate a fair divorce settlement or advocate for their interests during litigation. If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, it is important to work with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can help you navigate the complex rules of discovery and the other procedures that will be followed during your case. Contact our firm today at 630-909-9114 to set up a consultation and learn about how we can help you complete the divorce process successfully.