During a divorce, it can be difficult to know if your soon-to-be-ex is being truthful with you and your attorney, especially if the dissolution of your marriage is contested. Tools such as discoveries and interrogatories can help you, and your lawyer extract valuable information, helping you pursue a better outcome in your divorce.
Today, we'll be covering exactly what an interrogatory is, and whether you should consider using one in your divorce. For help with your divorce case from an experienced attorney, contact us online or via phone at (303) 647-4245.
What Is an Interrogatory?
A written interrogatory is a type of discovery.
During civil cases, such as divorces, attorneys can attempt to carry out discoveries. Doing so typically involves using various forms to legally request information from the other party.
For example, in a divorce, if your spouse has the only deed to a house you both own, your attorney may put for a Request for Production and Inspection, requesting the deed. Your spouse must then provide your attorney with the deed so they can examine it.
Written interrogatories are another type of discovery. Your attorney can request the other party in your case to answer certain questions, in writing, using an interrogatory. The other party must answer those questions truthfully using the full extent of information available to them at the time of writing.
Interrogatories can be invaluable legal tools for exposing lies or discrepancies in someone's case.
Should I Use an Interrogatory in My Case?
Speak with your lawyer about whether requesting an interrogatory is the right move in your case. For various reasons, your attorney may prefer to use alternative methods of uncovering information before requesting a written interrogatory.
However, if you fear your spouse is hiding information during your divorce, and that their refusal to supply information could result in an unfair outcome in your case, an interrogatory can be a powerful tool to level the playing field.
Can Someone Refuse to Answer a Written Interrogatory?
Long story short, yes. Reasons an individual can push back against or refuse to answer an interrogatory include:
- They believe the information requested by the interrogatory isn't applicable to the case;
- They posit that the details of the interrogatory are too vague or ambiguous to answer clearly;
- The details requested by the interrogatory are too detailed and place the attorney's burden of research and case preparation on the individual answering the interrogatory;
- The interrogatory contains speculative questions that are needlessly argumentative;
- The interrogatory contains privileged information that the requesting party should not have access to.
Your attorney should be able to put together an interrogatory that is easily answerable and acts in good faith to support your case.
Our team can help you draft a comprehensive interrogatory that meets your needs as part of our divorce services. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (303) 647-4245.