The Discovery Process in an Illinois Divorce

A divorce case, like every other case that is filed in a court of law, will at some point in the process require the parties to exchange crucial information. The process through which this information is exchanged is known as discovery. The word discovery in the legal context is different from the common usage, although the discovery process does seek to uncover unknown information.

In most Illinois divorces, the discovery process is used mainly to seek financial information. This is especially important if one spouse was in charge of the finances during the marriage, and the other spouse is not sure what assets and marital property are subject to equitable division as part of the divorce.

A court can order the spouses to exchange financial documents such as bank statements, investment records, and records showing ownership of real estate. In addition to the assets, parties also have to turn over information on debts and liabilities. Documents involving financial information are usually turned over pursuant to a subpoena or a formal request for documents. The court may also allow depositions, where a person is questioned by the attorney for the other side, and the testimony is preserved and may be used in court in some circumstances.

Discovery can also be accomplished through the use of interrogatories. Instead of live questioning, interrogatories are a set of written questions presented to a witness. Even though the questions are presented to the witness in written form, the witness is still required to answer the questions truthfully and under oath. Interrogatories are sometimes used to prepare for a deposition.

Illinois divorces are no-fault divorces. A spouse petitioning for divorce does not have to prove adultery or any other fault-based grounds in order to get the divorce. It is, therefore, unnecessary to employ the discovery process to try and gain access to text messages or emails that prove the other spouse was unfaithful. This does not mean that a spouse may not attempt to get this information for other purposes. For example, a spouse may claim that an unfaithful spouse used marital funds to buy expensive gifts for a person with whom the unfaithful spouse was having an affair.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

There are some aspects of a divorce case that are better handled by an experienced attorney, especially if the divorce may involve significant marital assets and debts. Some spouses may try to hide financial assets in order to avoid the other spouse getting any part of the assets. It is important to have an experienced divorce attorney handling your case to ensure your rights are protected. For more information on how our passionate Naperville divorce attorneys can assist you, contact us at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today.


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