So you are getting divorced and have been asked to show up for a deposition with your spouse’s lawyer, your lawyer, and possibly even your spouse. What do you do now? After all, you are not even sure what a deposition is, though you have a pretty good idea that you will have to provide honest answers to some very specific and perhaps complicated questions.
The first thing to know is that you are not being signaled out. Depositions are very common and play an important role in many divorce proceedings. Granted, not every case requires a deposition, but they are very helpful in some situations where having access to important information is critical to building your case and achieving the best possible outcome. The trick is that you walk into your deposition feeling prepared and informed.
That is the value we hope to provide you with this blog post.
What is a divorce deposition?
A deposition is an interview under oath that takes place before a divorce case goes to trial. Since you are not in court yet, most depositions are held in the office of the attorney who represents that party being deposed. However, everything you say will be recorded by a court reporter, who will transcribe every question and response and provide a deposition transcript that can be used later in a trial. The statements you make in a deposition are of the same value as if you were testifying in open court before a judge or jury.
These Q&A sessions can be stressful, especially since you probably have not been deposed before. However, there are very good reasons they take place. For starters, they provide attorneys with information to help them analyze your case, prepare for a trial, reduce trial time, and/or facilitate a settlement. A lot of ground is covered in a deposition, and they also give an attorney a better indication of how the deposed party will testify in court.
The topics discussed in a divorce deposition can include anything relevant to your divorce, such as:
- General personal information, including background, employment, and living situations
- Information regarding any children involved in the case
- Reasons for the divorce
- Child support and child custody
- Spousal maintenance
- Specific events and dates pertinent to the case
- A full breakdown of finances, assets, etc.
- Questions regarding potential health issues and criminal background
Tips for having a successful divorce deposition
While you may be worried about your divorce deposition, you can do a few things to set yourself up for success.
- Meet with your lawyer beforehand to understand the process, your theories in your case, and ask additional questions
- Tell the truth — always
- Listen carefully to every question before you answer
- Remember that it is OK if you do not know the answer to a question
- Do not guess when responding to a question
- If you do not understand the question or know what a word in the question means, ask for clarification.
- Do not volunteer information. Avoid the temptation of filling silence with words.
- Choose your words wisely, but do not be evasive
- Maintain your composure — do not get upset or angry
- If you need a break during the deposition, ask for one!
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
If divorce is the answer, you need a trusted advisor to guide you through each stage of your divorce. We work diligently to achieve a result that ensures you receive what you are entitled to as you move forward onto the next stage of your life. The Nelson Law Group brings nearly two decades of experience in family law to each and every case.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.