What Happens During Discovery in a Contested Divorce Case?

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What Happens During Discovery in a Contested Divorce Case?

Illinois courts encourage divorcing spouses to reach their own agreements about property division, child custody, and other divorce matters if possible. However, this is not always a feasible option. If one or both spouses are unwilling to be forthcoming with information and negotiate in good faith, an amicable settlement may be impossible. In this situation, the spouses will need to work toward a resolution through litigation. Divorce discovery is a crucial step in the contested divorce process.

Divorce Discovery in Illinois

The discovery portion of a divorce is the fact-gathering step in the divorce. Each party’s attorney collects information needed to address the disputed issues in the divorce. Often, the attorneys are focused on obtaining information about the spouse’s property, debt, and other financial matters. If the unresolved issues involve the couple’s children, the attorneys may be looking for documents and evidence related to the parents’ fitness or the children’s needs.

Legal tools used by lawyers during divorce discovery include:

  • Requests for Production of Documents – Requests or Demands for Production are used to gather important documents from a spouse during a divorce. For example a spouse may be required to turn over a tax return, prenuptial agreement, or other type of document relevant to the case.

  • Interrogatories – Interrogatories are formal, written questions that a spouse is required to answer. The spouse will be expected to answer truthfully and can face legal consequences for lying.

  • Requests for Admission – Requests for admission or requests to admit are statements that a spouse is asked to admit to or deny.

  • Depositions – During a deposition, both parties and their attorneys meet and discuss divorce issues. The conversation takes place under oath and the parties are required to tell the truth. The deposition is recorded by a court reporter. If a spouse later says something in court that contradicts what was said during the deposition, it can be used to discredit their testimony.

  • Subpoenas – Subpoenas are used to require a person to either produce documents or evidence or appear in court and testify. For example, if a relative saw a spouse physically abuse a child, a subpoena may be used to compel the witness to testify. Subpoenas may also be used to get business records, medical records, employment history, or other records from a third party such as a company.

Source: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, it is important to know how the discovery process can impact your case. The skilled Arlington Heights divorce attorneys at Reifman Law Offices are experienced in both contested and uncontested divorce cases. We can provide the legal support and skilled representation you need. Call 847-229-8433 for a free consultation.

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