Anytime there is a lawsuit filed, there is a period in the process
called the discovery phase.
basically an opportunity for each side to request information from the other
side and from outside third parties.
This can be longer or shorter depending on the case and may involve
several different means of discovery.
The first, and most common in a divorce case, is the financial
adopted statewide financial disclosure forms, but even before that most courts
had their own form that was used in each circuit.
Almost every judicial circuit in Illinois has
also adopted some form of financial disclosure form by local rule.
These forms provide a snapshot of your
Although they can
be very tedious to fill out, they usually act as a "cheat sheet" for
the court if your case goes to a final hearing.
Therefore, accuracy in completing these forms is very important.
Your attorney or the other side's attorney may also send
These may take the
form of interrogatories, which are a list of questions you must answer under
oath, requests to admit, which ask you to admit or deny certain facts, and
request to produce documents.
It is very
important that you not only respond to these requests, but that you do it
within the time allowed by the rules of civil procedure.
If you do not, you could be sanctioned by the
court or even inadvertently admit to something that is not actually correct and
possible harmful to your case.
The attorneys may also subpoena documents from a third party,
such as a bank or human resources officer, to secure information related to
If you believe a third party
may hold relevant information about your case, such as cell phone records, it
is imperative that you discuss that with your attorney as soon as
Many times, a subpoena will
have to be served on a third party outside of the state in which your case is
This can take some time to get
accomplished and then there is the time it will take that third party to comply
with the subpoena.
Be aware that many banks,
companies and other institutions can charge for researching and copying records
that are subpoenaed.
The final means of discovery that is sometimes used in a divorce
or custody case is a deposition.
deposition is a meeting between an attorney(s) and a witness in which the
witness gives sworn testimony usually in the presence of a court reporter who
transcribes that testimony.
testimony may used in place of testimony at trial or could simply be used to
get information depending on how the deposition is noticed (i.e. scheduled) and
the applicable rules.
may increase the cost of a case in the short term, they are extremely useful to
your attorney in preparing for a trial.
You may not like it; as a matter of fact, I can pretty much
guarantee you will not like it.
Nevertheless, discovery is a necessary process that can oftentimes lead
to settlement and will definitely make the requesting attorney more prepared
for trial. For more information, please check out our website
Labels: child custody, child support, divorce, divorce lawyer, divorce petition, family law, illinois, kentucky, litigation, paducah, property division, visitation