Discovery is the legal process in which both parties to a legal action exchange information about the witnesses and evidence they intend to introduce during a divorce case. This process can lead to the disclosure of incredibly sensitive and important information, such as tax returns and other financial documents, medical records, or child-related information. Discovery can help both sides in a divorce get a clearer view of the other side’s current status and know what assets and debts may be applicable in the case.
Types of Discovery Issues
Discovery is typically informal or formal. Informal discovery involves the voluntary release of information by the parties. Formal discovery usually occurs in court and may involve interrogatories, notices to produce documents, depositions, or subpoenas. Interrogatories involve questions one party asks another. The Illinois Supreme Court approved a series of standard interrogatories specifically for divorce cases.
A notice to produce is a request from one party for some kind of tangible good, usually a document, the other side has. When one party does not respond or object within 28 days, the other party may send a 201(k) letter requesting a conference at which discovery issues must be resolved before any motion to the court can ask to compel responses for discovery.