When dissolving a marriage, both parties to the divorce will be required to go through the discovery process.
During this time, both parties and their legal teams will be able to request certain documentation, conduct depositions to collect evidence in support of their claims, and ask specific questions under oath.
In many cases, the latter takes place through interrogatories, which are written questions submitted by one party to the other. The written responses to these questions are extremely important and can impact the outcome of divorce proceedings, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, it is important to each retain an experienced divorce lawyer who can carefully walk you through this process.
Responding Truthfully to All Interrogatories
Although some of the questions submitted through interrogatories may be uncomfortable to answer, it is still important to do so truthfully, as failing to answer honestly can have negative repercussions on the divorce down the road, either during the taking of depositions or at trial.
Divorcing couples are also required to respond to all of the questions that they are asked. In fact, if one of the parties to a divorce fails to respond to an interrogatory in a timely manner, he or she could be the recipient of a motion to compel and could also be required to reimburse the other party for attorney’s fees.
To avoid this, couples should be sure to submit an answer to all of the questions that they are posed in an interrogatory, or to provide a valid objection explaining that they cannot answer a specific question because it was inappropriate, unfairly burdensome, offensive, or irrelevant.
Submitting Responses on Time
There are certain deadlines with which divorcing couples must comply during the discovery process. For instance, divorcing spouses must respond to interrogatories submitted by the other within 30 days of receipt.
Courts are permitted to sanction those who fail to respond to written requests before this deadline, so it is important to refrain from putting off a response to an interrogatory. It is still possible, however, in emergency situations to request an extension.
Don’t Get Defensive
Although divorce proceedings can be contentious, it is critical for couples who have decided to dissolve their marriages to refrain from getting defensive in response to certain questions.
Written responses to interrogatories are not private communications, so it is important for the parties to respond as if they were being questioned in the presence of a judge or during a deposition. In some cases, an answer to an interrogatory could even end up as evidence during trial.
Although interrogatories vary depend on the particular issues of a case, there are certain questions that tend to crop up during these proceedings, including questions about:
- The parties’ present residences and the names of all individuals living with them;
- The parties’ educational backgrounds;
- The parties’ employment situations, including details about their wages, bonuses, and benefits;
- The parties’ sources of income, whether or not they were reported on a tax return;
- The parties’ debts and liabilities;
- The balances in each of the parties’ bank accounts; and
- The fair market value of the parties’ assets, including their personal possessions.
Please contact our legal team today to learn more about the types of questions you could be asked during your own divorce.
Call Today for a Case Review
To learn more about divorce-related interrogatories, please contact dedicated Austin, Texas divorce attorney Ben Carrasco at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco, PLLC today. We can be reached at (512) 320-9126 or via online message.