This is the next post in a series of articles discussing the rights of Peoria, Illinois fathers in cases involving a request to relocate their child out of state. The previous post reviewed the process for filing the initial request for relocation with the court. It is important to understand that judges take relocation requests seriously and will expect each parent to respect and follow the stated legal formalities in connection with their filings. This post will focus on the importance of the discovery process in child move-away cases. An experienced fathers’ rights attorney can help you identify and gather the evidence needed to support your case. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak to a lawyer.
Discovery is the legal process by which the attorneys for either side gather evidence to be used at trial. Illinois law allows for discovery in cases involving the relocation of children just as it does in any other divorce or family law matter. Lawyers have several methods for gathering evidence. Interrogatories may be used to require that the other side provide detailed written answers to written questions. A lawyer may issue requests for production or subpoenas to acquire documents, records, and physical objects from third parties. Depositions may be used to require the defendant or third parties, such as witnesses, to appear for an interview and to answer questions, under oath, in the presence of a court reporter. Given the numerous factors involved in relocation cases, discovery can play an especially important role.
For example, if a child suffers from a medical condition, a parent challenging the relocation may depose their treating physician to offer evidence that a move would not be in the child’s best interest. On the other hand, a parent wishing to move to escape a bad school district may subpoena records from the child’s school demonstrating that the child’s grades are low and behavior is an issue. The facts of each case will dictate which types of evidence may be important. An attorney with discovery experience can help you navigate the process.
Whether you are requesting relocation outside of Illinois or defending against the request made by your co-parent, it is imperative to gather as much objective evidence as possible. Information gleaned through discovery is required to be shared with the other party in advance of the court proceeding. An experienced attorney will review the counterparty’s evidence and prepare responses to potential arguments before the trial. In addition, using the formal legal process to collect evidence will allow the judge to enter the information into the record and take “judicial notice” of relevant facts when issuing a verdict. Many parents make the mistake of ignoring the discovery process during their child relocation case. Discovery, however, can result in the difference between winning or losing.
If you need assistance contact my office today to speak with a Peoria fathers’ rights lawyer. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.