What Are Requests For Admission And How Can They Help My Divorce Case?
Requests for Admission are written statements of fact which are submitted to an adverse party in a divorce proceeding which that party is required to admit or deny. They can be an effective and efficient way to establish facts and limit the amount of unresolved issues for trial. Any party to a divorce action has the right to serve on a written Request for Admission on the other party. For example, such a request could be to admit the genuineness of a particular document described in and attached as an exhibit to the Request. The written request could also ask the other party to admit the truth of relevant and material matters of fact. When there are facts you know to be true and irrefutable and your spouse is denying them serving a Request for Admission is a good mechanism to cause them to have to admit the truth – or be caught lying to the Court which may cause great damage to his or her overall credibility.
Usually any matter or fact admitted is deemed conclusively established unless the court permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. I have found the use of Requests for Admission extremely beneficial. For example, once a written admission is made it makes it very difficult for the other party to change his or her story at the time of trial. In addition, Requests for Admission tend to: (a) reduce the length of the trial since certain facts are deemed admitted; (b) reduce the number of unresolved issues; and (c) bring about settlement of more issues.
Commonly we will have one of the assistants in our family law group review the opposing party's deposition and identify every helpful admission they have made. We then prepare the Requests for Admission for the other spouse based upon statements they have already made in his or her deposition. Any admissions can be used effectively during trial, such as in opening statements or closing arguments and can be read into the record as additional evidence on our client's behalf.
About the author: Laurence Hirsch is a family law attorney at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk PC. He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona in the Family Law and Young Lawyers sections. He was formerly the Vice President of the Maricopa County Bar Association, Family Law Section. More recently, Larry was selected as a 2012 and 2013 Southwest Super Lawyer Rising Star and also chosen by the Phoenix Business Journal for induction into the 2011class of "Forty Under 40". He has expertise representing high net worth individuals who have closely held businesses in their marital community.