What are Family Law Interrogatories and How Do I Answer Them?

What happens when the opposing party serves you with interrogatories.

Interrogatories are a commonly used tool used during discovery in family law cases. These written questions are served by the opposing party in the case, and they must be answered in writing. The reason this process is used during discovery is to ascertain a party’s respective version of facts and claims.

In a family law dispute, the goal of interrogatories is to obtain valuable, relevant and specific information that may be applicable to the facts in dispute during a case. Simply put, interrogatories are questions that help get to the truth of what another party claims or believes with regard to the facts.

Florida family law employs rules of procedure that govern how interrogatories should be handled. According to these rules of procedure, an interrogatory must:

 Be a question asked of the other party

 Be a question related to the case

 If the other party fails to answer the questions, you may ask the judge to order the opposing party to answer the interrogatories

 Interrogatories may not be asked before a petition has been filed; interrogatories are for discovery purposes only

If you are served with an interrogatories during discovery, here is how you should answer them.

Answering Interrogatories

With the help of your family law attorney, you will carefully craft a response that fulfills your legal duties. Dodging the question will prove unhelpful since that will likely only result in a judge ordering you to answer the questions. Instead, your attorney will help you answer the questions, all while choosing careful language to ensure the response is still favorable to your side of the dispute.

Of course, carefully choosing the right wording is not the same as employing outright lies or deception. The response to an interrogatory must still be truthful. As such, careful wording that results in straightforward, honest answers is the ideal path forward for responding to interrogatories.

Since answering interrogatories is an activity performed under oath, it is imperative to speak truthfully. Lying could result in perjury, which is a serious charge carrying serious legal consequences. If a question is too burdensome, do not lie in an attempt to wiggle out of it. Instead, you can raise a legal objection to the questions being asked.

Your family law attorney will help you ascertain the questions you should object to for any and all questions that prove unfair.

If you have questions regarding court procedures, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]