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Can a Divorce lawyer ask about my health issues in the interagories?

San Juan Capistrano, CA |

I do have some chronic health problems but would not want those to be made public. Do i have the right to privacy?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. If you retain an attorney, they may be able to assist you on what and how to answer. Without knowing the details, I can't tell you whether you need to provide the information or not. In general, however, if you are claiming that you need spousal support due to health issues that keep you from working, you have placed your health problems at issue. The other side has the right to information that would allow them to decide whether they wish to refute this. For further information, visit

    Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

  2. It might be relevant to a support issue, or to child custody/parenting time.

    Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Interrogatories are not filed with the Court, so responses to Interrogatories would not be made public unless a party were to use the responses as exhibits to an OSC or Motion - which is rarely done.

    However, if you have health issues which affect your ability to work (and earn), if you are seeking Spousal Support, or if you are seeking to delay entry of the Judgment to enable you to continue receiving health insurance benefits through your spouse's employment-based health insurance carrier, you would be tendering your health issues in the case, making those health issues discoverable not only by interrogatories, but also by requests for admission, deposition, demands to produce documents, and subpoenas to your health care professionals and your health insurer.

    You would best at least consult with (but preferably to retain) an experienced Family Law Attorney regarding the Interrogatories, without delay. Your responses to the Interrogatories are due 30 days from date of service. If those Interrogatories were mailed to you, you get an additional 5 days due to the mailing. Do not wait until the last minute to consult with the attorney or to respond to the Interrogatories. Note also that a party is not allowed to serve documents in his/her own case, so the service of the responses to the Interrogatories must be done by a person over the age of 18 who is not a party, and a Proof of Service must accompany your Responses to the Interrogatories.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  4. You do have a privacy right. However, it is not absolute. The answer to your question depends on whether or not your health is an issue in the case and, more specifically, whether YOU have made your health an issue in the case. It is not enough for your spouse to just make the allegation that your health is an issue and therefore he or she needs this information. More is generally required. This is an evolving and sometimes complex area of family law. Before you waive your privacy rights and respond, a good lawyer should be able to analyze your situation and advise you whether you have to answer the question or whether you should object to it.

    Anytime a question refers to a document, a complete answer cannot be provided until the document is reviewed. Our law firm offers a free consultation to prospective clients who have divorce and family law questions. Contact us by telephone or email and we can give you a more detailed answer to your question.

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