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Understanding the discovery process in divorce

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There are many things to resolve during the divorce process, from the division of debts and property to spousal and child support. Without having a clear picture of all the assets and financial aspects associated with the marriage, you could make the wrong decision.

The discovery process is crucial to help understand all the assets and debts.

What is the discovery process?

The discovery process entails revealing information that might be relevant to the divorce case. This information might include tax returns, real estate paperwork, and other relevant information. In addition, this process can help uncover any hidden assets and give you a clear image of all the assets and debts. That said, the discovery process can be easy or difficult, depending on how collaborative you are with your ex.

The following are the steps involved in the discovery process:

  • Formal request and disclosure: During this stage, both parties send each other copies of all information relevant to the case. In Illinois, full disclosure is required. Therefore, both parties must disclose all information.
  • Interrogatories: Here, written questions are sent to the other party for answers. This question must be answered appropriately and in writing.
  • Request to produce: If the other party has something you want to examine, you can request its production.
  • Confirmation: During this stage, both parties send statements that should be answered with a yes or no. Both sides usually have some days to answer the request; otherwise, all the statements will be considered accurate.
  • Deposition: During this step, witnesses give sworn testimony before the actual court hearing. This trial is used as a fact-finding tool and can be used to catch any false information. You can be charged with perjury if you answer a question differently in the deposition and trial.
  • Subpoena: Sometimes, the other side might refuse to provide the needed documents. Then, a subpoena will be issued, requiring them to provide the documents.

When going through a divorce, it’s essential to go through the discovery process (although all steps may not be necessary if the parties are cooperative). The divorce may not be fair to both parties without all information about the family finances, assets and debts. Seek legal guidance before the discovery process to ensure you get a clear financial picture in your divorce.

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