How discovery happens in divorce in illinois

You must describe the documents by individual item or by category. Below are samples of information or documents you can ask for:. Often conducted in an attorney's office, a deposition requires that all questions be answered under oath and be recorded by a court reporter, who creates a deposition transcript. Increasingly, depositions are being videotaped.

Any deponent may be represented by an attorney. At trial, deposition testimony can be used to cast doubt on a witness's contradictory testimony or to refresh the memory of a suddenly forgetful witness. If a deposed witness is unavailable when the trial takes place—for example, if he or she has died—the deposition may be read to the judge in place of live testimony.

Legal Discovery during Divorce

Deposition is a last resort if you are a Pro Se Litigant representing yourself due to the expense. You have to pay a court reporter for their time, pay for the transcript from the deposition, you will have to pay for the services of an attorney or paralegal because most states do not allow depositions to be taken by anyone other than court personnel.

4 Tools Used in The Discovery Process in Divorce

If you find you need to depose a witness who is not able to be present in court research your state's rules of civil procedure regarding depositions. MyDomaine uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using MyDomaine, you accept our. Product Disclosure. What is Discovery?

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The list of items is sent to the other side and they must respond within 30 days. The party receiving the list of facts is asked to either admit to or deny each fact. Anything said during a deposition can be used in court should an agreement not be met and you go to divorce court. Interrogatories Interrogatories are written questions submitted to the opposing party during the divorce process. The following responses and objections are based upon information not known. Joe Black has not yet completed discovery or preparation for trial in this action and therefore will supplement these responses and objections to the extent required by the Rules of Civil Procedure.

My name is Joe Black.


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I object to the remainder of the interrogatory as being irrelevant and invasive of my privacy. Since you are making this statement under oath, any lie or intentional omission of the truth may result in the penalties of perjury, which is a very serious offense. Illinois courts have stated that an affidavit is a substitute for testimony you would personally deliver in a courtroom. This is why this is very important.

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They also have required both that the things you say in an affidavit are things you could testify about in court and that you need to indicate the source s and availability of the evidence about which you make statements in your sworn affidavit. Illinois law describes this in detail. Whenever any such pleading, affidavit or other document is so certified, the several matters stated shall be stated positively or upon information and belief only, according to the fact.

The person or persons having knowledge of the matters stated in a pleading, affidavit or other document certified in accordance with this Section shall subscribe to a certification in substantially the following form: Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section of the Code of Civil Procedure, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this instrument are true and correct, except as to matters therein stated to be on information and belief and as to such matters the undersigned certifies as aforesaid that he verily believes the same to be true.

Any pleading, affidavit or other document certified in accordance with this Section may be used in the same manner and with the same force and effect as though subscribed and sworn to under oath. Any person who makes a false statement, material to the issue or point in question, which he does not believe to be true, in any pleading, affidavit or other document certified by such person in accordance with this Section shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.

This will help determine things like child support and spousal maintenance to be awarded and also provide an idea regarding the division of marital property. In April of , the Illinois Supreme Court approved a standard financial affidavit form that will be accepted by all Illinois Circuit Courts—the court where you would actually go through your divorce process. Cook County Local Court Rules also state that one party may not request discovery from another party as part of a case unless the requesting party has first submitted to the other party a completed financial affidavit.

Please download one right now and try to complete it if you are going through a divorce or are contemplating divorce.

What Happens at a Pretrial Hearing for Divorce?

Cook County Rule Completing one that is not completely accurate or has information that is missing or misleading can have serious legal consequences. However, in other situations, such as when a case will be set for trial, discovery is critically important, and, many Judges will not set a trial date until discovery is substantially done and complied with. There are quite a few different ways to issue discovery. There are several types of written discovery as well as oral discovery, also called a Deposition. This blog is intended to outline the most popular types of discovery one may encounter in an Illinois divorce or family law matter.

Any case in Illinois which requires the financial information of both parties typically begins with the exchange of Financial Disclosure Statements. The document must be filled out truthfully and completely, or the party completing the document could be subject to punishment or sanctions by the court. In Illinois, each county has its own rules regarding when the disclosure statements must be exchanged, and what substantiating documents must be included with it, if any.


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Sometimes the disclosure statements are enough and are acceptable to two parties to move towards resolution of a matter. However, if the matter is set for trial, typically additional discovery will be required. One document is called a Notice to Produce Documents. This is a written request served upon a party or their counsel requiring them to respond within 28 days. In an illinois divorce, the Notice to Produce Documents asks for years of:. The scope of document production requests can be extremely wide in terms of what is requested, and can seek documents that go back many years typically , but sometimes shorter, or sometimes longer.

The party who is served discovery must also respond to the actual notice, indicating what documents they are enclosing, what does not apply to them, what documents may not be in their possession or control, and the like.

1. Written Discovery

This helps the attorneys and parties to the case know what documents actually exist and can be subpoenaed or what they can compel the party to produce. Interrogatories are a series of questions that the party who is served must answer, typically about their finances and if in a divorce case, about marital versus non marital property. In a parentage case, they may be asked specific questions relative to parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities.

These also have to be responded to in 28 days. In most family law cases, depositions last up to three 3 hours but can be extended for good cause. The scope of what can be asked in a deposition is large. Not every question asked in a deposition will be relevant at a trial. The deposition questions can be anything that may lead to relevant information or documents in a case. This is the time to ask those questions. Thus, typically, but not always, depositions are done after formal written discovery is complete.

They are described as follows:. Subpoenas are a formal request for documents or other forms of discovery from a specific person or entity. A subpoena can be issued to Chase Bank requesting the additional statements. Subpoenas can be sent to employers, banks, credit card companies, retirement account administrators and more.

Subpoenas can request production of documents, or, production of a specific person so that the attorney can take their deposition i.

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