Understanding Discovery in an Illinois Divorce
During a divorce proceeding in Illinois, both parties will typically be required to share financial information and other data so that the process can be completed in accordance with the law. The phase of the proceeding in which this information is exchanged is known as discovery. Additionally, discovery is also the time when all assets and debts must be declared so they can be factored into the marital settlement. Assets include:
- Property and business interests;
- Bank accounts;
- Real estate holdings; and
- Pension and/or retirement funds and accounts.
Limited Discovery in an Uncontested Divorce Case
In an uncontested divorce proceeding, a limited discovery will generally occur wherein the parties willingly provide bank account, assets, and property information to achieve a quick settlement. This is because an uncontested divorce presumes that the parties are working together to streamline the process and have nothing to hide from one another.
Discovery Methods in Contested Divorce Cases
In a contested divorce case, a variety of methods are available for the purpose of determining the true extent of an individual’s assets. These options generally include:
- Depositions in a divorce are often used to uncover and verify a person’s personal assets. A deposition is the out-of-court testimony of a witness. Initially, both parties will be deposed in a contested divorce case. The opposing attorney will verbally ask the spouse questions and the spouse must answer the questions to the best of his or her ability.
- Written interrogatories are written questions from the opposing party that require written responses. Interrogatories can contain questions that ask about a wide range of topics and require detailed and specific answers.
- Requests to produce are demands to produce written documents or any other tangible items that are in question or requested by the opposing party. If the party is in possession of these documents and/or items, they must be produced or the party could face sanctions by the court.
- Requests to admit are written requests from the opposing side for a party to admit to certain facts or admit the authenticity of a document. The party must directly address each fact and/or the authenticity of each document specified in the request.
Get Help With Your Divorce
If you believe you may be a party to any type of divorce proceeding, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney for guidance. We will help you with all aspects of your divorce, from the initial filing to discovery, and to trial, if necessary. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule a confidential consultation today.