The Subpoena: A Powerful Discovery Tool in Divorce Cases

It is important that a party to a Chicago divorce conduct discovery into his or her spouse’s income, assets, and liabilities. Some people going through a divorce may groan and say, “what’s the point, I know my spouse is hiding information from me, and we will never simply be handed the documents.” Or a party may erroneously believe that he or she knows everything about the marital finances and that discovery is unnecessary. This is one of the many times when it is crucial to have a top Chicago divorce lawyer and to allow her to do her job. Issuing a subpoena is one way to obtain documents that have not been produced by the opposing party. An attorney can prepare and send subpoenas to the uncooperative spouse’s financial institutions, if that is the appropriate tactic in the situation. The results of a subpoena can be eye-opening and reveal significant hidden assets or income. Subpoenas may also reveal dissipation. Either of those discoveries can mean the client ends up with more money in the divorce. Financial institutions usually take a few weeks to provide the requested documents, and the party requesting the documents usually needs to pay a fee to the financial institution for research costs and copy costs. There are other tools in the arsenal that can be used in addition to subpoenas. A knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney can help you decide if issuing a subpoena is appropriate in your case.

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If you are looking for legal advice and representation with an Illinois divorce, schedule a consultation with experienced Chicago divorce attorney, Tanya Witt, at (312) 500-5400 or

Representing men and women in Chicago divorce and child custody cases.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney regarding your specific case.