In previous blog posts we have discussed the risks of not conducting discovery in divorce cases. In this post we will explore what happens when your spouse refuses to participate in the discovery process.
When a party issues his or her discovery requests, the requests will contain deadlines within which the recipient must respond. Depending upon the type of discovery requests issued, the required responses might be answering written questions (called “interrogatories”) under oath, or producing documents and other tangible things, or both. If your spouse does not respond to the discovery requests by the deadline, or if they provide incomplete responses, there is legal recourse available to compel their compliance. The attorneys at The Witt Law Firm have extensive experience conducting discovery, as well as pursuing opposing parties’ compliance with our requests for discovery.
Typically, if an opposing party fails to comply with our discovery requests, we will first reach out to his or her attorney to attempt to resolve the issue without requiring the court’s assistance. This first step is required under Illinois’ law and may resolve the issue of any outstanding discovery. However, if the opposing party still fails to comply with our discovery requests, we can then file a petition asking the court to compel the party to respond, or to fully respond, to our discovery requests. If the court finds that a party was without substantial justification when he or she failed to respond to discovery requests, the court may order the defaulting party to pay the reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred as a result of pursuing compliance. If the court enters an order requiring a party to comply with discovery requests and the party violates that order, he or she may be held in contempt for disobeying the court’s order. There are other remedies that may be appropriate depending on the individual circumstances of your case. If you have questions about Chicago divorce law, including issues related the discovery process, contact Chicago divorce attorney Tanya Witt at info@thewittlawfirm.com or call (312) 500-5400. The above blog does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a family law attorney regarding your specific rights.