The divorce process

If your’re thinking about divorce, you probably want to know what to expect.

Well, on the legal end, it’s mostly this: paperwork. Lots and lots of it. Yes, there will be mediation (usually) and there will be settlement talks. But first, before deciding who gets what, we must learn what there is.

In a typical dissolution of marriage case, parties exchange what's known as "discovery": that is, financial and general information relevant to the divorce process. Attorneys and clients compile a large amount of discovery documents (whether printed hard copies, electronic copies on thumb drives or the like, or a combination of both) and provide the information to the other side. This is generally due to the other side in less than a month! Quick turnaround.

If you're considering a divorce, read on for questions and documents you'll likely need to address in your case. (P.S.: Fear not. Our office walks clients through divorce step by step. Reach out to the qualified attorneys by message or phone: (312) 451-9358 to schedule a consultation.)

Basics for paperwork in a standard dissolution of marriage:

1. Financial Affidavit (Cook County link here)
2. "Answer the Questions" aka Matrimonial Interrogatories  (See below)
3. "Give Me the Documents" aka Notice to Produce (See below)

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"Answer the Questions" aka Matrimonial Interrogatories

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213, with  Order entered December 29, 2017 | Effective January 1, 2018

1. State your full name, current address, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number.

2. List all employment held by you during the preceding three years and with regard to each employment state: (a) The name and address of each employer; (b) Your position, job title or description; (c) If you had an employment contract; (d) The date on which you commenced your employment and, if applicable, the date and reason for the termination of your employment; (e) Your current gross and net income per pay period; (f) Your gross income as shown on the last W-2 tax and wage statement received by you, your social security wages as shown on the last W-2 tax and wage statement received by you, and the amounts of all deductions shown thereon; and (g) All additional benefits or perquisites received from your employment stating the type and value thereof.

3. During the preceding three years, have you had any source of income other than from your employment listed above? If so, with regard to each source of income, state the following: (a) The source of income, including the type of income and name and address of the source; (b) The frequency in which you receive income from the source; (c) The amount of income received by you from the source during the immediately preceding three years; and (d) The amount of income received by you from the source for each month during the immediately preceding three years.

4. Do you own any interest in real estate? If so, with regard to each such interest state the following: (a) The size and description of the parcel of real estate, including improvements thereon; (b) The name, address and interest of each person who has or claims to have an ownership interest in the parcel of real estate; (c) The date your interest in the parcel of real estate was acquired; (d) The consideration you transferred or paid for your interest in the parcel of real estate; (e) Your estimate of the current fair market value of the parcel of real estate and your interest therein; and (f) The amount of any indebtedness owed on the parcel of real estate and to whom.

5. For the preceding three years, list the names and addresses of all associations, partnerships, corporations, enterprises or entities in which you have an interest or claim any interest, the nature of your interest or claim of interest therein, the amount of percentage of your interest or claim of interest therein, and an estimate of the value of your interest therein.

6. During the preceding three years, have you had any account or investment in any type of financial institution, individually or with another or in the name of another, including checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts? If so, with regard to each such account or investment, state the following: (a) The type of account or investment; (b) The name and address of the financial institution; (c) The name and address of each person in whose name the account is held; and (d) Both the high and the low balance of the account or investment, stating the date of the high balance and the date of the low balance.

7. During the preceding three years, have you been the holder of or had access to any safety deposit boxes? If so, state the following: (a) The name of the bank or institution where such box is located; (b) The number of each box; - (c) A description of the contents of each box during the immediately preceding three years and as of the date of the answer; and (d) The name and address of any joint or co-owners of such safety deposit box or any trustees holding the box for your benefit.

8. During the immediately preceding three years, has any person or entity held cash or property on your behalf? If so, state: (a) The name and address of the person or entity holding the cash or property; and (b) The type of cash or property held and the value thereof.

9. During the preceding three years, have you owned any stocks, bonds, securities or other investments, including savings bonds? If so, with regard to each such stock, bond, security or investment state: (a) A description of the stock, bond, security or investment; (b) The name and address of the entity issuing the stock, bond, security or investment; (c) The present value of such stock, bond, security or investment; (d) The date of acquisition of the stock, bond, security or investment; (e) The cost of the stock, bond, security or investment; (f) The name and address of any other owner or owners in such stock, bond, security or investment; and (g) If applicable, the date sold and the amount realized therefrom.

10. Do you own or have any incidents of ownership in any life, annuity or endowment insurance policies? If so, with regard to each such policy state: (a) The name of the company; (b) The number of the policy; (c) The face value of the policy; (d) The present value of the policy; (e) The amount of any loan or encumbrance on the policy; (f) The date of acquisition of the policy; and (g) With regard to each policy, the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

11. Do you have any right, title, claim or interest in or to a pension plan, retirement plan or profit sharing plan, including, but not limited to, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans and deferred compensation plans? If so, with regard to each such plan state: (a) The name and address of the entity providing the plan; (b) The date of your initial participation in the plan; and (c) The amount of funds currently held on your behalf under the plan.

12. Do you have any outstanding indebtedness or financial obligations, including mortgages, promissory notes, or other oral or written contracts? If so, with regard to each obligation state the following: (a) The name and address of the creditor; (b) The form of the obligation; (c) The date the obligation was initially incurred; (d) The amount of the original obligation; (e) The purpose or consideration for which the obligation was incurred; (f) A description of any security connected with the obligation; (g) The rate of interest on the obligation; (h) The present unpaid balance of the obligation; (i) The dates and amounts of installment payments; and (j) The date of maturity of the obligation.

13. Are you owed any money or property? If so, state: (a) The name and address of the debtor; (b) The form of the obligation; (c) The date the obligation was initially incurred; (d) The amount of the original obligation; (e) The purpose or consideration for which the obligation was incurred; (f) The description of any security connected with the obligation; (g) The rate of interest on the obligation; (h) The present unpaid balance of the obligation; (i) The dates and amounts of installment payments; and (j) The date of maturity of the obligation.

14. State the year, make and model of each motor or motorized vehicle, motor or mobile home and farm machinery or equipment in which you have an ownership, estate, interest or claim of interest, whether individually or with another, and with regard to each item state: (a) The date the item was acquired; (b) The consideration paid for the item; (c) The name and address of each other person who has a right, title, claim or interest in or to the item; (d) The approximate fair market value of the item; and (e) The amount of any indebtedness on the item and the name and address of the creditor.

15. Have you purchased or contributed towards the payment for or provided other consideration or improvement with regard to any real estate, motorized vehicle, financial account or securities, or other property, real or personal, on behalf of another person or entity other than your spouse during the preceding three years. If so, with regard to each such transaction state: (a) The name and address of the person or entity to whom you contributed; (b) The type of contribution made by you; (c) The type of property to which the contribution was made; (d) The location of the property to which the contribution was made; (e) Whether or not there is written evidence of the existence of a loan; and (f) A description of the written evidence.

16. During the preceding three years, have you made any gift of cash or property, real or personal, to any person or entity not your spouse? If so, with regard to each such transaction state: (a) A description of the gift; (b) The value of the gift; (c) The date of the gift; (d) The name and address of the person or entity receiving the gift; (e) Whether or not there is written evidence of the existence of a gift; and (f) A description of the written evidence.

17. During the preceding three years, have you made any loans to any person or entity not your spouse and, if so, with regard to each such loan state: (a) A description of the loan; (b) The value of the loan; (c) The date of the loan; (d) The name and address of the person or entity receiving the loan; (e) Whether or not there is written evidence of the existence of a loan; and (f) A description of the written evidence.

18. During the preceding three years, have you sold, transferred, conveyed, encumbered, concealed, damaged or otherwise disposed of any property owned by you and/or your spouse individually or collectively? If so, with regard to each item of property state: (a) A description of the property; (b) The current location of the property; (c) The purpose or reason for the action taken by you with regard to the property; (d) The approximate fair market value of the property; (e) Whether or not there is written evidence of any such transaction; and (f) A description of the written evidence.

19. During the preceding three years, have any appraisals been made with regard to any of the property listed by you under your answers to these interrogatories? If so, state: (a) The name and address of the person conducting each such appraisal; (b) A description of the property appraised; (c) The date of the appraisal; and (d) The location of any copies of each such appraisal.

20. During the preceding three years, have you prepared or has anyone prepared for you any financial statements, net worth statements or lists of assets and liabilities pertaining to your property or financial affairs? If so, with regard to each such document state: (a) The name and address of the person preparing each such document; (b) The type of document prepared; (c) The date the document was prepared; and (d) The location of all copies of each such document.

21. State the name and address of any accountant, tax preparer, bookkeeper and other person, firm or entity who has kept or prepared books, documents and records with regard to your income, property, business or financial affairs during the course of this marriage.

22. List all nonmarital property claimed by you, identifying each item of property as to the type of property, the date received, the basis on which you claim it is nonmarital property, its location, and the present value of the property.

23. List all marital property of this marriage, identifying each item of property as to the type of property, the basis on which you claim it to be marital property, its location, and the present value of the property.

24. What contribution or dissipation has your spouse made to the marital estate, including but not limited to each of the items or property identified in response to interrogatories No. 22 and No. 23 above, citing specifics, if any, for each item of property?

25. Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f), provide the name and address of each witness who will testify at trial and all other information required for each witness.

26. Are you in any manner incapacitated or limited in your ability to earn income at the present time? If so, define and describe such incapacity or limitation, and state when such incapacity or limitation commenced and when it is expected to end.

27. Identify any statements, information and/or documents known to you and requested by any of the foregoing interrogatories which you claim to be work product or subject to any common law or statutory privilege, and with respect to each interrogatory, specify the legal basis for the claim as required by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 201(n).

 

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"Give Me the Documents" aka Notice to Produce
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 214, and Circuit Court of Cook County Rule 13.4(g)(iv) 

Tender the original and/or any copies or drafts of any writing, recorded or graphic material, including (but not limited to) letters, correspondence, work papers, telegraphs, contracts, facsimiles, computer printouts, computer stored information, computer disks, diaries, memorandum, intra-office communications, written statements, studies, work sheets, charts, graphs, tape recordings, transcription or any other memorial of any conversation, meeting, conference or telephone call, reports or files, however produced or reproduced, and documents of any kind or description whatsoever in your possession, custody, or control, for the past three years (unless otherwise designated).

1.         True and complete copies, including all schedules of federal and state income tax returns filed on your behalf.

2.         All records of any and all income received by, due to, or earned by you from any source from three years prior to date of separation to present date.

3.         Amended tax returns for any income tax returns requested herein.

4.         True and complete copies, including schedules of federal and state corporate tax returns filed and/or any other business that you may have an interest.

5.         Passbooks and other memoranda indicating deposits and withdrawals for any savings account or money market account, mutual funds, certificate of deposit, treasury bill, note, or commercial paper in which you have had a beneficial interest solely, jointly with another, and/or in the name of any business in which you have an interest regardless of whether or not the account or accounts are still in existence. In the event any accounts are certificates of deposit, produce the certificates of deposit.                    

6.         Bank statements, canceled checks, deposit and withdrawal slips, check register or stubs, and debit and credit memos for any and all accounts, including (but not limited to) checking, credit union, and money market funds or similar funds with check writing privileges, in which you have had the right of withdrawal, check signing power, and/or a beneficial interest solely, jointly with another, and/or in the name of any business in which you have an interest regardless of whether or not the account or accounts are still in existence.

7.         Monthly statements for all cash management accounts, or similarly named all inclusive cash, investment, checking and credit accounts, regardless of whether or not the account or accounts are still in existence.

8.         Copies of any affidavits, monthly expense sheets, statement of your financial need, and all documents evidencing your personal living expenses and/or for any other person residing with you on a weekly, monthly or annual basis.

9.         Copies of contracts executed relative to your employment, together with any amendments thereto, and copies of any contracts or amendments being negotiated currently but not yet executed.

10.       Deferred compensation agreements between you, your employer, corporation, partnership and/or between you and any other persons or entities which presently exist or which have existed from the date of the parties' marriage to date, including (but not limited to) any memoranda as to deferred compensation agreements, arrangements, bonuses or commissions, and memoranda as to expense account policy or limitations; detail on expense account reimbursements, and detail as to any compensation which has been earned by you but not as yet paid.

11.       Documents that reflect, refer, or relate to any perquisites or employee benefits provided to you including (but not limited to) expense reports and summaries of expenses submitted or recorded by you for communication, transportation, meals and entertainment, and/or any other expenses.

12.       A copy of any personal, corporate, and/or partnership financial statement, loan application, and/or credit application prepared by you or under your supervision, together with all net worth and/or financial statements submitted in conjunction therewith.

13.       Copies of any financial statements, loan applications, and/or credit applications to any banks, persons, or financial institutions, whether submitted by you individually, jointly with others, and/or on behalf of any partnership or corporate entity in which you have or had an interest, together with all net worth and/or financial statements submitted in conjunction therewith.

14.       All documents which evidence all indebtedness which is wholly or partially payable by you and/or co-signed by you, including (but not limited to) documents which indicate the name of the party or entity to which you are indebted, the original amount of indebtedness, the current balance, the manner of payment, and the name and address of the principal obligor. 

15. Copies of all charge and credit card statements, transaction statements, summaries, purchaser's receipts, and individual charge slips, as well as all documents which reflect the name of the company, account number, and outstanding balances, for all charge and credit accounts maintained in your name or on which you presently have or previously had charge privileges, regardless of whether or not the account or accounts are still in existence.

16. A copy of any deed, letter of agreement or trust agreement for any real estate in which you have had any interest, including a beneficial interest, and a copy of any closing statement or other documentation in connection with the acquisition or sale thereof. In lieu of a deed, you may furnish a statement as to the date of purchase, cost, financing details and current market value. Copies of all real estate tax bills; operating statements showing income and expenses. Copies of any appraisals and/or market studies obtained in connection with the foregoing real estate. Copies of leases in connection with any commercial or residential real estate in which you have a beneficial interest.

17. All stock certificates, bonds or other securities in which you have or had any interest, including a beneficial interest.  In lieu of the certificate, a written description of the stock may be submitted indicating the date of purchase, the cost, the exchange where traded, the named titleholder, and the current market value. In connection with any lettered stock, furnish the certificate and any other documentation indicating cost and restrictions on disposition. List the names and addresses of all brokers used by you during that period.

18. Statements from any brokerage firms or firms that manage investments for accounts over which you have the power to buy or sell or which are wholly or partially in your name or under the name of any other person or entity which are being held for your benefit, including (but not limited to) stocks, mutual funds, bonds, cash accounts, margin accounts, option accounts, commodities, and investments of every kind.

19. Prospectus and offering statements for all of your investments.

20. Year end financial statements for all corporations not publicly traded and partnerships which you have held any interest, including (but not limited to) balance sheets, statements of profit and loss, statements of changes in financial position, and notes to financial statements.  Produce all periodic (monthly, quarterly, etc.) statements.

21. All documents relating or referring to money and property received by you by inheritances, either prior to or during the marriage, including (but not limited to) copies of distributions, receipts in probate signed by you or others on your behalf, and all documentation pertaining to the values thereof at the time of receipt and the current values.

22. All documents evidencing any expectancies from inheritance, insurance claims, damage or injury suits (on file or contemplated).

23. All records pertaining to gifts of any kind made by you in excess of $500.00 to any person, (including paramour/s or person/s with whom you have had a relationship with during the marriage,) trust, corporation or other entity from the date of marriage to the present, including any gift tax return filed by you.

24. Trust agreements or declarations or trust in existence at any time during your marriage to date where you are a beneficiary, trustee, or a party to the agreement or declaration.

25. All documents evidencing your interest in any retirement income, including (but not limited to) individual retirement accounts, Keogh plans, 401(k) plans, pension plans and profit sharing plans in which you are or were a participant, including (but not limited to) the summary plan description, benefits reports, summary annual reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the retirement plan itself, the annual reports, the last employer-furnished statement as to the nature and value of your interest or, lacking such statement, a certificate from the employer as to the amount and form of benefits due you under the plan, currently and in the future.

26. All documents evidencing all policies of insurance in force covering your life and/or your spouse's life, or your interest in any real or tangible property, life, endowment, annuity, theft, floater, liability, accident, and automobile insurance, including (but not limited to) the benefits payable and premiums in connection with each policy, all appraisals and Policy Riders referring or relating to all jewelry, paintings, antiques, furniture, and art objects, the monies received in connection with canceled policies, all claims filed and/or paid, and the like.

27. Copies of all health insurance policies, health maintenance organization (HMO) contracts, medical, dental, and/or optical reimbursement plans in force, including (but not limited to) summary descriptions of medical benefits provided by employer or health insurance company, premium notices and proof of payment of current premiums, and medical identification card for any health insurance, HMO or similar items providing medical insurance coverage or services for you and/or your spouse.

28. Copies of all wills, trust agreements and/or estate planning instruments executed by you.

29. All documents relative to the purchase, ownership, financing, maintenance, or operation of any motor vehicles owned in whole or in part by you presently, or which have been used, including (but not limited to) titles, bills of sale, lease agreements, contracts to purchase, loans and/or liens, and the expenses of operation.

30. All documents evidencing any safe deposit box, vault, or other depository in which property has been held, to which you claim a beneficial interest, including (but not limited to) the current contents of each box, all lists or inventories of the contents, identification of those individual(s) entitled to access to each box, and any property removed therefrom with your knowledge.

31. All documents evidencing your membership in any clubs or social or business associations, including (but not limited to) documentation as to the original initiation fee, annual dues or monthly assessments, current value of any equity interest in any such organization, and monthly statements for all charges incurred.

32. Any and all documentation evidencing any travel by you individually or accompanied by any other person or persons including (but not limited to) your passport, Frequent Flyer program statements, airline tickets, travel itineraries, diaries and calendars, billing statements, hotel bills, credit card statements and receipts, travel bureau and/or travel service statements, travel brochures, and the like. Provide documentation of how all trips were paid and include information about per diem allowances provided to you.

33. A list of all household furniture, furnishings and antiques owned by you individually or jointly with any other person or entity; such list to include the purchase price of each item, the source of the funds used to purchase each item, and the current fair market value of each item.  If no appraisal figures are available, include your opinion of the fair market value.

34. Any documents or records that support your contentions that you are the owner of non-marital property as defined in Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage of Dissolution of Marriage Act.

35. Any and all reports, statements or memoranda from any experts, appraisers, persons or entities hired by or on behalf of you or your attorneys, agents or employees, relating to value of any property of every kind, nature or description acquired by you and/or your spouse during the course of your marriage, whether property is claimed to be marital or non-marital.

36. Any documents or records that support your contentions that either party accumulated or dissipated marital property during the marriage.

37. Other documents not previously produced relating to the ownership or value of any property in which you claim any ownership interest.

38. Other documents not previously produced relating to all debts and outstanding obligations owed by you.

39. An affidavit, pursuant to Rule 214 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Illinois, stating whether the production is complete in accordance with this request and, if not, in what respects it is complete.

 

 

Original draft by Katherine Holmes | Gipe Holmes PC
Including Illinois Supreme Court Rules 213 and 214
and Cook County Financial Affidavit for divorce (Illinois Statewide Document also available)
References made where indicated
Interrogatories and Discovery Request for Divorce - Financial
(Not Custody or Child related)
Updated on January 10, 2019