General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine

Domestic Relations Law

Custody Cases: Interrogatories, Requests to Admit, and Production Requests

By Ann Haralambie

This article provides examples of interrogatories, production requests, and requests to admit regarding child abuse, evidence, experts, paternity, and modification of custody.

Custody

Assessment of Parent (interrogatories).

1. If you are employed, state your work days and hours and whether you are required to work overtime.

2. Have the children expressed a preference to live with you? If so, state:

a. Each date on which such preferences were expressed.

b. The circumstances giving rise to such expressions.

c. The words used by each child.

3. State the address at which you and the children would reside if you were granted sole or joint physical custody and describe with specificity the children’s proposed living quarters.

4. Would you be able to devote yourself full time to the children’s care and upbringing if you were granted custody? If not, state:

a. What proportion of each day you intend to spend with the children.

b. How you intend to provide for the children’s care when you are not available, naming the entity that will be hired for this purpose.

c. The reason you cannot devote yourself full time to the children’s care.

5. State whether you and your spouse have any major disagreements regarding the children’s education, religious upbringing, discipline, health care needs, and/or extracurricular activities, and, if so, detail the nature of each such disagreement and each party’s position as you perceive it.

6. Describe your state of health and list the name, address, and telephone number of each physician, medical clinic, or nurse practitioner you have consulted during the last 18 months, and with respect to each consultation state the date, purpose, diagnosis, and treatment.

Evidence

Jurisdiction (interrogatories).

1. State the basis for any claim that the state in which child custody litigation is currently pending lacks subject matter jurisdiction to decide child custody issues.

2. Identify all contacts of the child with respect to [state name].

3. State the basis for any allegation made by you that the child has been abandoned.

4. State the basis for any allegation made by you that the child has been mistreated, abused, neglected, is dependent, or there has been a threat of mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or dependency.

Special Needs (production requests).

1. All records, documents, correspondence, memoranda, reports, X-rays, test results, evaluations or other written materials that reflect the need for care for any mental, psychological, emotional, and physical conditions of [child’s name].

2. All documents demonstrating [child]’s special educational needs, including educational assessments and test results, records of scholastic deficiencies/achievements, report cards, progress reports, attendance records, and correspondence.

3. As to [child]’s special needs, provide the documents showing the costs and amount spent by you during the past 12 months for:

a. Tutors.

b. Tuition.

c. Books and school supplies.

d. Gymnastics.

e. Other school-sponsored or extracurricular activities.

Experts

Expert Witness (interrogatories).

1. Identify by name and address all expert witnesses you intend to call at trial and state for each:

a. The subject matter upon which the expert is expected to testify.

b. The substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion.

c. Qualifications and training of the expert, including professional and practical experience, educational institutions attended, and degrees obtained.

d. Copies of all written reports, conclusions, or comments prepared by the expert witness with respect to this litigation.

2. Identify by name and address all persons retained, employed, or consulted by you or on your behalf in anticipation of this litigation or in preparation for trial, other than your attorney, who are not expected to be called as witnesses at trial.

Expert Witness (production request directed to expert).

1. Bring copies of the following to your deposition:

a. Curriculum vitae.

b. Informed consent for conducting a forensic assessment or similar document used in the instant case.

c. List of all articles, papers, chapters, books or other documents, materials or sources of information you relied on in forming your opinions regarding the matters at issue.

d. List of all legal cases (case number, case name, and county in which the action was pending) in which you have testified or been appointed as an expert or as an opinion witness within the last 5 years.

e. Your entire original file pertaining to the psychological exams or evaluations and any psychological testing including, but not limited to, testing materials, raw scores, scaled scores, interpretations, and results of:

i. MMPI-2 test administered to the Husband.

ii. MMPI-2 test administered to the Wife.

iii. Thematic Apperception Test, the Child Apperception Test, etc., administered to either party or the children in the instant dissolution of marriage proceedings.

f. All documents reviewed in connection with your examination or evaluation of the parties or the parties’ children.

g. All reports and drafts of reports prepared in connection with your evaluation in the instant proceedings.

Paternity

Late-Filed Paternity Actions (interrogatories).

1. Did you inform defendant of your pregnancy? If yes, specify the time and circumstances of such notification. If your answer is no, explain in detail why you did not notify him.

2. Did you inform defendant of the child’s birth? If yes, specify the time and circumstances of such notification. If no, explain in detail why you did not notify him.

3. Describe with specificity each attempt you made to obtain support from defendant prior to filing the paternity complaint.

4. Describe with specificity each attempt you made to develop and/or foster a relationship be-tween defendant and the child?

5. State whether there was ever a time since the child’s birth that you did not know how to contact defendant either directly or through one of his relatives.

6. State whether you and defendant have had major disagreements concerning the child’s education, religious upbringing, discipline, health care needs, and/or future extracurricular activities.

7. Did you file federal and state income tax returns from the date of the child’s birth to the present? If so, state as to each return for each year or any amendment:

a. Whether it was separate or joint.

b. The year for which it was filed if not filed for the calendar year.

c. The address of the office in which it was filed.

d. The amount of gross income reported.

e. The amount of taxable income reported.

f. The name and address of the person(s) who prepared the return.

g. Whether you have a copy of the return.

Paternity (production requests).

1. Produce copies of your federal and state income tax returns, all amendments, and schedules from the date of the child’s birth to the present.

2. Produce all business and personal checking account, savings account, and credit union account statements for accounts on which you are a signatory for the past 12 months.

3. Produce all checking account registers for accounts on which you are a signatory for the past 12 months.

4. Produce each exhibit you may or will use at the trial of this matter.

5. Any blood test results showing or disproving the paternity of the subject child.

Paternity (request to admit).

1. The plaintiff is the father of the unborn child of the defendant.

2. The plaintiff is not the father of the unborn child of defendant.

Ann Haralambie is a family law attorney in Tucson, Arizona.

- This article is an abridged and edited version of one that originally appeared in Family Advocate, Winter 1999 (21:3).

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