Virginia Divorce Law: The Value of a Request for Admission

This blog is the third in a series of blogs that talk about “discovery” in a divorce case and how it can be used to help your case. I have previously discussed depositions and interrogatories, and what role those play in a divorce case. The third type of discovery is known as a request for admission.

So what are requests for admission, and how can they be used to help your divorce case?

What is a Request for Admission?

A request for admission is a type of discovery that usually takes the form of statements. A common example of a request for admission would be, “admit that you had an adulterous affair with [insert name].” There are many different types of requests, and they can perform a wide variety of roles in a divorce case.

In a divorce case, you are addressing issues such as custody, money, and property distribution. A well drafted request can address any one of these areas. You are able to ask a total of thirty (30) requests for admission. If you want to have more than thirty (30) requests, you must get permission from the court first.

How to Use a Request for Admission in a Divorce Case.

Whoever is asked a request for admission must answer one of two ways; a) admit that the statement is true or b) deny that the statement is true. If you fail to answer a request for admission within twenty-one (21) days, then any statements in the requests are presumed to be true.

This can act as a massive benefit in a highly contested case or a massive danger. For example, if there is real estate you do not think the other side is entitled to, you can send a request stating “admit that the property located at 111 East West Street is not marital property.” If that request is not answered, then that could seriously harm the other side.

You can also use a request for admission during the trial of the case. If someone changes their story in front of the court, you can bring out the requests and use their admission to combat their story.

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer.

Effectively using a request for admission can be difficult. It is important to use your limited number of requests for admission appropriately. If you ask the wrong questions, then you won’t be able to ask any more important questions. Furthermore, it is important to understand how to answer a request for admission if you receive one. Inappropriately answering a request for admission may result in your entire case being decided against you. Therefore, make sure you hire a lawyer in a contested divorce case.