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DuPage County divorce attorneysNot all Illinois couples who are getting a divorce will have to resort to litigation to reach a resolution, but those who do will need to prepare for an often lengthy process with multiple steps. One of the most important steps that takes place before a divorce trial is the discovery period. As you prepare for your divorce, you may have questions about what discovery entails, especially if you have not been involved in any civil court proceedings in the past.

A Structured Exchange of Information

The purpose of the discovery period is to allow both spouses, along with their legal representatives, to obtain important, relevant information before the trial begins. Usually, this information pertains to each party’s finances and helps to provide a more complete picture to inform decisions regarding the division of marital assets, spousal support, and child support. There are a several ways in which information may be acquired during discovery, including:

  • Exchange of documents - Each party may ask that the other provide documents including income and tax statements, pay stubs, bank statements, and other financial documentation. In some cases, a subpoena can be requested to compel the other party to produce evidence that they do not willingly provide.
  • Interrogatories - These take the form of questions submitted by one party to the other, with written answers provided under oath, typically after consulting with an attorney.
  • Depositions - Each party may ask for oral testimony, given under oath, from the other party and other witnesses. Testimony provided in a deposition can later be presented as evidence in the trial.

The guidance of an experienced attorney is crucial during the discovery period, both to carry out a strategy for obtaining as much useful information as possible, and to advise you on how best to respond to the other party’s requests. The assistance of financial experts can also be important to help you interpret the information you and your attorney obtain.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOf all the issues that one may deal with during the divorce, those related to money tend to be the most sensitive and volatile. That is because, in this arena, mistakes can be costly, and they often have a lasting, negative impact. Thankfully, by avoiding these four commonly made money mistakes, parties can decrease their risk of experiencing significant financial loss in a divorce while also increasing their chances of receiving the divorce settlement to which they are entitled. 

Oversharing Details About Your Personal Life and Finances 

While the law does require you to provide financial disclosure to your spouse during the discovery process of your divorce, there is such a thing as oversharing. Examples of information that you may want to keep private include: 

  • An inheritance received after separating from your spouse;
  • Vacations or vacation plans that take place after the separation;
  • Information regarding spending habits or recent large purchases (even when done out of necessity);
  • Raises and promotions that are given to you after the separation; and
  • Any other windfall that occurs after you and your spouse have separated. 

Note that this information should not be shared anywhere - not even on social media, as even this information can be used as evidence in a divorce. Remember to still disclose this information to your attorney, as they can help you determine which assets may be excluded from the marital estate. 

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Posted on in Divorce

discovery processIf you are currently involved in a divorce or know anyone going through the same process, you have likely heard of the term “discovery.” If it is your own divorce, you may be growing to hate the discovery process. This post seeks to break down the basics of discovery, outlining what you need to know and how it can greatly benefit your case.

What Is It?

The term discovery is used across nearly every area of law, but in divorce proceedings it refers to the process by which both sides of the divorce gather information about the other side. Discovery is a key component in any litigation, but is absolutely essential in any case where assets, property division, child support or maintenance is at issue.

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