- The Discovery Process in Divorce Cases
- Pre-Trial Matters/Discovery
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- What is “Discovery” in Divorce?
The Temporary Phase This phase is meant to stabilize the situation temporarily. Usually this phase is handled informally through each person's attorney. Periodically cases must be resolved by a Court hearing.
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If a case enters into a hearing during the temporary phase, the Court will enter in a Court Order which will bind each party until a final judgment is reached, the case is dismissed, or the case is settled. The temporary phase's goal is to keep up the status quo and solve any immediate issues that the family may be facing that would cause the divorce. In a domestic violence case for example, calling for a restraining order upon the domestic violence offender would be a type of temporary stabilization.
However, a spouse does not have to leave the living condition if he or she is not harming the other spouse and or children. Anything day to day is handled in the temporary phase.
The Discovery Phase This phase in the divorce involves the identification of the contested issues. If little is contested as far as assets and debts, some couples may choose to waive formal discovery. However, in many cases a spouse wants to be certain that the estimate provided by their spouse is true and attributable.
In this case, formal discovery is necessary. In formal discovery requests are made for documents and financial statements.go
The Discovery Process in Divorce Cases
During the discovery phase parents are also supposed to determine what type of custody they are fighting for. If parents are fighting for physical custody of the child, often the parents must attend Mediation and alternative dispute system that employs a trained family law mediation who attempts to resolve all the disputes. Also, the court might appoint a "Guardian Aid" to the child. The Guardian Aid advocates for the best interests of the child and reports to the court in attempts to finding what living situation and custody situation is best for the child.
This phase is a bit ambiguous.
- The Discovery Process in an Illinois Divorce.
- Step-by-Step Explanation of The Discovery Process.
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- The Illinois Divorce Process Explained.
- Complying with Discovery in Divorce and Custody Cases;
- Penalty for Hiding Assets in a Divorce!
For some couples this phase is the longest and the most drawn out, for others where their assets are easy to identify and they have no children this phase could almost be virtually eliminated. The Resolution Phase This phase is usually where the case settles. Each case is different, but with compromise many cases can find a settlement.
It becomes impractical to fight over little things, and once a divorce has reached this stage the process itself has been going on for at least 3 months. The experience is trying and a settlement is usually in the best interest of almost everyone. If a case is being settled then the settlement documents are then prepared and signed by both parties.
A short hearing is then held in front of a Judge.
This "Prove — Up" Hearing is meant so that the judge can hear what the circumstances and settlement are. If the judge finds this settlement unfair i. Of course if there are large contested issues, such as custody, the case goes before a Judge without a jury. The Judge then decides how things will be divided based on the evidence collected in the discovery phase. A trial can last anywhere from a week to several years, with a resolution coming over a long period of time.
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Instead, both of these defendants ultimately plead the 5th amendment and refused to answer any more questions about where documents, such as their business licenses, might be. Because of their shenanigans, I filed a motion to have the court hold these defendants in contempt of court a Rule to Show Cause that was decided by the court nearly 2 years since these parties were supposed to answer discovery.
So, what can be done to avoid sanctions for discovery abuse, other than the obvious which is to comply with discovery requests in a timely manner? Here are a few of my suggestions for both lawyers and their clients:. Contact Us Now! Need a trial attorney in Charleston? The Consequences of Playing Games in Discovery. Previous Next. Generally speaking, the party who receives these questions has 30 days to answer them.
In addition to these standard interrogatories, you are limited to fifty 50 more questions unless you have a court order permitting more.
What is “Discovery” in Divorce?
Requests for production are the means by which you can ask the other party to make copies of documents, photographs, records, etc. If the other party fails to respond on time, within 30 days, then the questions are deemed admitted. Under oath means that the person who is testifying is sworn, under penalty of perjury, to tell the truth. During the deposition, lawyers will ask questions of the witness, and the answers are recorded by an official court reporter. Later, the court reporter prepares a written transcript of everything that is said during the deposition.
Depositions can also be video-recorded. There is little difference between testimony at a deposition and testimony in a courtroom except there is no judge there to rule on objections to the questions such as objections to hearsay testimony. During a deposition, lawyers do not make these objections until later when a lawyer tries to introduce the deposition transcript or portions of it at trial. If the court grants the motion to compel, then the party who objected or failed to answer must then do so.
What Can Be Done? Answer All That You Can — I instruct my clients to answer ALL of the requests they can with some exceptions such as requests that would cost my client unreasonable effort and money in responding , even if we intend to object to them.
That way, either the other party ends up finding this information or, if there is a motion to compel, my client has shown good faith and cooperation in discovery. As lawyers, we all know that the court allows discovery to be broad. If there is a problem, I let the other lawyer know as soon as possible and ask for their cooperation in extending deadlines.
More often than not, most of the lawyers I work with are considerate and will extend these deadlines. Let Go of the Uncooperative Client — If I have a client who is clearly being uncooperative in discovery, I make it very clear that if they do not cooperate, they will need to hire another lawyer. In the end, it is the court that will sanction them.