The interrogatories are up to 30 questions that the other party can ask their husband or wife in a divorce case and these 30 questions are usually very thorough. They go into employment—anything to do with finances, the house, assets in terms of investment accounts, annuities, insurance policies, retirements.
The point of the interrogatories are to see if there are any assets that the other party may not know of and you’re required to answer these questions under oath. Now, initially, a party can serve up to 30 interrogatories on the other party, however, a person can go to court and ask to be able to inquire more things having a greater number than 30 if necessary and often times, the court will award that if the court believes that it would be helpful to resolving the litigation, but interrogatories are merely questions that are being asked.
Frankly, we do a lot of interrogatories on behalf of women who perhaps don’t know all of the investments of their husband and we’re trying to get information that we can later confirm through other sources of discovery and I might add that discovery is also a CYA for attorneys because we want to make sure, as your representative that we’ve done our best to get all of the information that we can for you and to make sure that we haven’t left ourselves liable for not seeking the information that we should’ve on behalf of our clients.
So interrogatories are important, but you can only serve interrogatories if a divorce action has actually been filed. So if you’re working on an agreement between the parties, you can’t file interrogatories unless the divorce is filed so you can’t use that powerful source of information.