Can ahusband be made to answer questions that would aid the plaintiff in a case against their wife?

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Can ahusband be made to answer questions that would aid the plaintiff in a case against their wife?

My wife is being sued and the lawyer representing the party suing my wife has subpoenaed me to answer a questionnaire to help them collect. As her husband, do I have to answer the questionnaire?

Asked on June 23, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The marital privilege is a rule of evidence which prohibits one spouse from disclosing confidential communications by the other spouse during the marriage (CPLR 4502[b]; CPL 60.10). The privilege exists to protect the sanctity of the marriage relationship. However, there are limits to the privilege.  One such limit is that the privilege cannot be used to conceal acts which are themselves destructive to the marriage.  THis is not something for you to decide - what is destructive to the marriage - but rather for the courts.  You need to seek help from an attorney and give him or her more facts about the matter.  Then if you choose to assert the privilege and it is challenged you will have the chance to fight.  Good luck.


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