The Importance of Proper Discovery During Divorce

discovery, review, Aurora divorce attorneyOne of the parts of the divorce process that many people find the most distasteful is the discovery process. However, if you and your lawyer fail to do thorough job of discovery it can harm your current case and even affect your options for years to come.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is the process of finding out about the other side’s case. In a divorce case this usually mostly involves understanding the finances. The basic tools of discovery include:

  • Depositions- This is when you testify under oath to the questions asked of you by the other side’s lawyer before a formal hearing or trial.
  • Document Requests- These are written requests for all relevant papers and records to the divorce. They will include things like account statements, bank balances, and lists of all assets.
  • Interrogatories- These are written questions that are answered under oath. They may sometimes be used instead of a deposition or prior to a deposition.

With these tools, each side is able find all the sources of income and all of the assets to which each spouse has access. While the discovery process can be long and expensive, it is vital to the proper execution of a divorce case. When one side fails to take advantage of all the tools at their disposal, there can be negative consequences.

How Does it Protect You?

While most people are honest and forthright about their finances in a divorce, some people try to hide assets or sources of income. They do this to avoid higher child support or spousal maintenance payments. They may also want to keep the some marital property from being lost in the divorce. Discovery is one way of trying to uncover these hidden assets.

Illinois courts have ruled that if one side fails to conduct discovery and later finds out that their spouse has hidden assets, they cannot reopen the divorce and ask the court to re-divide the marital property. When you and your lawyer use all the discovery tools at your disposal, you are not only protecting yourself from being deceived in the current case, but are also leaving yourself and opportunity to reopen the case in the future if you should discover that your spouse lied and hid assets during the original proceedings.

If you have any questions about divorce or any family law issue you need to speak with a tough and skilled DuPage County divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Call us today at [[phone]] to set up a consultation. The sooner you take action the sooner we can help you protect your rights.


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