Virginia Divorce Law: The Value of Interrogatories

This blog is part of a series of blogs designed to help you understand how the discovery process works in Virginia. The first of the series was Virginia Divorce Law: The Value of Depositions. There are four (4) major types of discovery tools; a) depositions, b) interrogatories, c) document requests and d) admissions.

The second type of discovery is known as interrogatories. So what are interrogatories and how are they best used?

What Are Interrogatories?

Interrogatories are the process by which you can ask the other side questions under oath without having to go through the Court. Under oath means they have to answer your questions truthfully. If someone lies on interrogatories, they can get in serious trouble. Common examples of a divorce interrogatory include a) identifying all the property your spouse claims they should have, b) identifying the custody arrangement your spouse is asking for and c) asking for all the evidence that your spouse intends to use at trial.

What Can Interrogatories Be Used For?

There are three main reasons to use interrogatories. The first reason to use interrogatories is to get an idea of what your spouse intends to tell the court and what witnesses they intend to use. That way, you can plan how to respond to their arguments with your own witnesses and evidence. The second reason to use interrogatories is that you can use statements in interrogatories to break down the testimony of your spouse at trial. If their statements are contrary to what is in their interrogatories, then that can be used to weaken their credibility. Finally, interrogatories can be used to encourage settlement discussions. By knowing the strength of your spouse’s case, you can submit a reasonable settlement proposal.

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer?

A divorce lawyer can help you effectively utilize interrogatories to get the most out of your discovery. It is important to hire a divorce lawyer to ask the right questions and to ask them at the right time to get the best possible result in your case. Therefore, make sure you hire a divorce lawyer to represent you in contested cases.