A civil dispute, such as a Divorce suit, is a case where an issue is in dispute and a party is asking for relief from the Court. In the context of a contested divorce the issues that will typically need to be resolved by the Court are the division of assets between the parties, custody of minor children,child support and spousal support. In the state of Georgia once a divorce complaint is filed by a party a formal civil action has been initiated and a process called discovery is triggered. In order to make a determination and resolve the dispute the Court will need to obtain information from the parties such as banking statements, 401K statements, insurance documents and other information that may be relevant for the divorce proceedings. This is typically done by interrogatories. Essentially, interrogatories are a set of questions that are given to each side of the dispute and are required to be answered truthfully by the parties. They are governed by O.C.G.A §9-11-33.
What Information Can Be Obtained By An Interrogatory?
Any information that is relevant to the proceedings can be obtained. Sometimes, there can be disagreements between the parties as to what evidence is relevant and the Court can step in to resolve those issues. Some examples of the tangible information that parties are often required to submit are:
- existing and deleted emails
- cell phone records
- text messages
- journal entries
- tax returns
- insurance policies, just to name a few
The discovery period provides the parties to the civil dispute a period of time in which to get organized and obtain all of the information they will need to assist them in obtaining the best outcome. It is also a means to obtain information that the other spouse may not readily give. Each side is required to answer the questions truthfully and can be held in contempt if found to have been dishonest in a response. At the very least the party found to have been dishonest would loose credibility with the Court.
Based on the brief list of examples a party could be required to submit in the divorce proceeding it is not hard to imagine how interrogatories could be useful in assisting your attorney with conducting their investigation into issues such as proving infidelity or whether a spouse has been hiding assets. A good attorney will ask these questions and get the Court involved when he or she feels as though the answers are incomplete. The Faucette Law Firm represents clients in contested and uncontested divorce proceedings, child support, child custody, spousal support and modifications. We serve the Douglasville and Atlanta area. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.