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Do I need to answer divorce discovery questions regarding medical / prescription? Isn't that private?

Flemington, NJ |

I am representing myself Pro-Se in a NJ no fault divorce and we have 2 minor children. My husband's lawyer has served me with 150+ pages of discovery questions (I am pro-se) some of these questions I feel are just none of anyone's business. In addition, they are asking for blanket releases for banking, mortgage, investment, etc... and also medical records. Can I state that these questions relating to medical and prescriptions taken have nothing to do with our divorce? (note: I have never taken anything addictive, such as pain killers, sleeping pills, etc.)

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Attorney answers 5


It depends - another question where giving an answer here is risky. As always, all responses here are general information and not legal advice, which requires reviewing your file.

That said - releases for all financial info are legit. Requests for your medical and prescription history -- it wouldn't be bad faith the say "I respectfully decline to answer this question as it is violative of doctor-patient privilege." If a motion is filed over it, I would offer to let the judge review the information in chambers and determine whether husband's interest in the information outweighs your privacy interest in it.

IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.


I can't think of a better way to put this - - He/She who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. The fact that you are posting this question online, seeking the advice of attorneys, should be a good indicator that you are already in over your head - - you may be saving a few $$ now, but failing to handle your divorce litigation properly could cost you exponentially in the long run. You note that you have two minor children, if not for your sake, for their sake, have an experienced local attorney represent you so that your divorce litigation is done properly now. Best of luck to you.

David Perry Davis

David Perry Davis


It won't be Judge Mawla in a while - it will be Borkowski. Mawla's being transferred. You mention that you have children - if you're a dependent spouse, you should be able to get a judge to order that husband post a retainer for you, either from assets, by liquidating assets (such as retirement account) or via credit. If he's able to get counsel for himself, an attorney should be able to convince the court that he's got to help you fund the litigation, too, so it's an "level playing field." Answering discovery on your own isn't advisable. Aside from the issue you raised, you may say or not say something that will haunt you and that an attorney could help revise.


I agree with the other response that an attorney who answers this question on line cannot just provide a blanket response to your questions. For example, medical/prescription information might be relevant to child custody issues as to an ability to take care of your children or have primary custody, and therefore the requests are proper and relevant to your case. Financial information is also relevant as to many issues in a divorce case with custody issues. I would see if you can get the attorney for your wife to limit the authorizations or respond that you will provide records directly requested.

I would also suggest you seek the services of an experienced attorney to assist you.

I would be happy to follow up with you. Please email me directly or call my office if you would like to schedule an appointment either in person or by telephone. Disclaimer: You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your situation, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the result for your situation. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit should the suggestion be followed with undesirable results.


The advice of Mr. Kurs is not wrong. I presume that your divorce case is taking place in Flemington. I have a lot of experience with Judge Mawla, who is very fair.

However, I think that you need to meet with a New Jersey Divorce Law Firm as soon as possible, to go over your situation in detail, get educated answers to your questions, and expert guidance as to the best course of action.

You should get the best possible legal representation. Your representation should be headed by a very experienced lawyer. That lawyer should be part of a Divorce Law Firm which includes other less senior lawyers who also handle exclusively NJ Divorce and Family Law matters and can work as a team with the head lawyer, to make sure that your matter is handled as well and as efficiently as possible.

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As others have said, the best answer I can give is "maybe". You should consult with an experienced attorney ASAP so that you comply with the court rules, protect your privacy and don't damage your case.

This post is not legal advice and does not create a confidential attorney-client relationship. It is being offered for informational purposes only. You should not relay any confidential or priviliged material in this public forum. You should not rely on this post as legal advice. In order to obtain a more comprehensive answer to your question you should consult with an attorney of your choosing.