Today, it is much more common for couples to go through mediation or the collaborative divorce process when they want to end their marriage. However, litigation is sometimes necessary and in these cases, the couple will have to attend the trial to finalize their divorce. Discovery is an important aspect of any trial, but without having been to trial before, many people are unprepared for it. Below is a brief outline of the discovery process, and what you can expect out of it in the event of divorce.

What is the Discovery Phase of Divorce?

The discovery phase of divorce begins after the initial complaint is filed and the defendant responds to it. The purpose of the discovery process is to collect information, which is typically financial in nature. You and your attorney can ask the other side for certain information and likewise, they can ask you for certain documents they may need, as well. Discovery ensures that both sides have the same information when trying to resolve disputes. The discovery process will also give you the chance to collect evidence you can use to secure a favorable outcome.

The Elements of Discovery

Information is obtained in a number of ways during the discovery process. The most common methods of obtaining information are as follows:

  • Formal requests and disclosure: Illinois law requires full financial disclosure during divorce and requests may be made for copies of pay stubs, bank accounts, appraisals, retirement account ledgers, and more.
  • Interrogatories: Interrogatories are used when you have questions for your spouse that you need the answers to. Each side can submit interrogatories and the other party is legally obligated to respond. Inquiries made in interrogatories typically involve a spouse’s income, liabilities, and assets which can help determine how property is divided and spousal maintenance amounts.
  • Admissions of fact: Admissions of fact are similar to interrogatories, but they are slightly different. An admission of fact allows one spouse to ask another to confirm or deny certain information and the recipient must respond.
  • Requests for production: Not all documents are always included within the initial complaint and your attorney may need more information. When this is the case, they can ask your spouse to reproduce certain documents that are necessary for the case.
  • Deposition: Depositions are sworn statements that are given in response to questions asked by the other side’s attorney. Depositions are essentially a method of obtaining honest answers to questions that will be asked at trial.
  • Subpoenas: Sometimes the other side does not want to voluntarily provide information or testify in court. When this is the case, a subpoena can be used to force them to comply with your request.

An Illinois family lawyer can determine which methods to use during discovery to give you the best chance of a favorable outcome.

Our Illinois Family Lawyers Want to Help with Your Case

If you are going through a divorce, it is critical that you work with a skilled Hinsdale family lawyer. Even the most amicable divorces can end in litigation and when it does, our knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio are ready. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.