As a Chicago divorce lawyer I see that, often times, one spouse alone manages the parties’ finances. Or, one party knows that an asset exists, such as a retirement account, but does not know where it is held or the value. The Illinois Supreme Court has given divorce lawyers tools with which to discover assets so that one party is not unjustly enriched to the detriment of the other. By way of example, the rules provide for the mandatory production of documents, accompanied by a signed affidavit stating that the spouse has produced all of the documents within his or her possession and control. In the vast majority of cases, there is usually a “paper trail”, which an experienced attorney can follow, to verify whether the disclosure of information is complete. If the other spouse withholds or hides information, a court has the authority to impose severe sanctions against that spouse.
An attorney is also permitted to take the deposition of a party, to obtain information. A deposition consists of the attorney asking the other spouse or a witness questions. The answers are sworn to, under oath, with a court reporter present to record the answers. Again, there are safe guards in the event that the party being asked the questions is not being truthful.
Also, an attorney has been granted the power to subpoena documents from third parties and to obtain testimony from third parties. Since most people are paid by check or their salaries are direct deposited into… Continue reading