Get the other parent to admit all of their screw-ups

Posted August 15th, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

screw-ups mark guralnick

One of the most frequently ignored tactics used in pre-trial discovery is known as a “Request for Admissions.” This device is used to get the other side to admit to certain things, which you can use to your advantage in a child custody case.

A Request for Admissions is a written list of statements which you are asking the other parent to either “admit” or “deny.” For example, “Please admit each of the following statements: (1) That you were entitled to have visitation with the children on first and third weekend of each month; (2) That you canceled your visitation with the children on each of the following weekends…” By getting the other side to “admit” to these points, you have obtained a piece of valuable evidence that can be used in your favor in court. A signed admission can be offered as a conclusive adjudication on the issue. For example, you might say to judge: “Your honor, there can be no doubt that the Defendant has missed at least 50% of the visitation dates he was already awarded. I’m submitting to the Court a signed set of admissions by which he has conceded this point under oath. Therefore, you should not grant him any additional visitation time.”

Don’t worry that the other parent might ignore your request. One of the great advantages of a Request for Admissions (in most states) is that the party served with the Request has only 30 days to respond. If he or she doesn’t admit or deny each request within 30 days, then the Court will treat each of the requests as having been automatically admitted. You could say to the judge: “Your honor, it is our position that the Defendant has admitted missing all of these scheduled visitations. He failed to respond to our Request for Admissions on this very point. More than 30 days have elapsed, and under the court rules, the admissions are now deemed to have been automatically admitted.”

This strategy — known to lawyers — can be very helpful in proving certain points in your child custody case. A Request for Admissions is also a helpful shortcut that saves the court time and may impress the judge with your efficiency.

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