What Is “Discovery” in an Illinois Divorce?
Getting divorced is not as easy as simply deciding not to be married anymore. Most divorcing spouses must address several key issues during their divorce including the division of marital assets and debts, spousal support, and child custody. “Discovery” refers to the fact-gathering stage of divorce. The evidence and information exchanged during discovery will affect the outcome of the divorce, so this is a crucial component of the divorce process. If you are planning to divorce in Illinois, it is important to know what is involved in discovery so that you can protect your rights and be as prepared as possible.
Exchange of Financial Information and Other Records
Most divorce issues revolve around finances. Accurate, up-to-date financial information is needed to determine how marital property and debts will be divided between the couple, the amount of child support a parent will pay, and whether a spouse is entitled to alimony or spousal maintenance. Spouses are expected to provide this information willingly, but in some cases, it takes some digging to uncover the documentation needed. Non-financial information may also be required in order to address the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time and other divorce issues.
Methods Used to Collect Information During Discovery
There are several different methods used to gather information during divorce discovery. “Interrogatories” are written questions that spouses must answer under oath. An interrogatory may ask a spouse about his or her employment history, income, property, or other matters relevant to the divorce. “Requests for production” are used to ask for documents or evidence such as emails, photographs, tax returns, child-related records, or the list of the expert witnesses you intend to utilize during the case.
“Admissions of fact” are statements that a spouse is asked to confirm or deny. For example, you may be asked to look over a list of your real estate holdings that were compiled by the other side and confirm that you do own these properties. A “deposition” is a meeting that takes place under oath. During a deposition, parties answer questions and provide sworn testimony, which may be later used in court.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
The extent of the discovery process during a divorce depends on many factors including the complexity of your financial and legal situation as well as the parties’ willingness to be truthful and forthcoming with information. At Van Larson Law, P.C., our team is well-versed in divorce discovery. The reputable Batavia, IL family law attorney Van A. Larson is highly knowledgeable in Illinois divorce law and has over 39 years of litigation experience. Call our office today at 630-879-9090 for a free, confidential consultation.