This is the next post in my series on the handling of Peoria, Illinois divorce cases. My last article discussed how Illinois divides property and debt in a divorce. It is important to understand that ours is not a “community property” state. Our Courts will only require that assets and debts be divided “equitably.” Retaining an attorney, who is experienced in this area of law, will help you with making sure that you do not begin the next chapter of your life in a bad financial position. In this article I will discuss another important topic – the conducting of discovery in such matters. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I have previously discussed the use of discovery in child custody cases involving drug use. The same tools, for the obtaining of information, are available in divorce matters. Interrogatories may be used to require written answers to written questions. Requests for Production may be used to obtain records, documents, or other physical items. Depositions may be used to take under oath interviews of the other party or witnesses. Finally, subpoenas may be used to obtain records from third-parties. A party or witness will not be required to answer discovery requests unless such requests are submitted timely and in the proper form. If a party is properly served with a request, and does not provide adequate answers, then your counsel can take steps to compel adequate responses.
Discovery can be crucial to resolving financial disputes in a divorce. It is not uncommon, for example, for a spouse to by hiding or concealing assets from the other. Suppose a spouse is self-employed and skims money from their business in an effort to under-report their income, which can lead to a lower spousal support payment. The discovery process can be used to identify all customers which the spouse has worked with over a given time period. Those customers can then be given subpoenas for their records which may show payments which the spouse failed to include in their income statements. This type of evidence can lead to a Court finding that the spouse is underreporting their income. The Court, in turn, may order a greater alimony payment in addition to a greater share of property for the non-offending spouse. It is crucial to remember, however, that how the Court will rule in any given situation is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case.
It is important to remember that the rules of civil procedure are complex and if discovery is not conducted properly then one may be without needed evidence at trial. By retaining a Peoria divorce lawyer, who is experienced in the process, you can help to ensure that your case is handled correctly. I am a former prosecutor who believes that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation. If you are going through the end of a marriage then contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I pride myself on providing the highest levels of service and we are ready to assist you. Call today to speak with an attorney. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington, along with the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.