Prepping For Your Divorce Trial: The Deposition

Divorces are often emotional and contentious ordeals. There are always going to those couples who work things out without having to have the judge step in. Many couples, however, don't agree on one or more important issues like child custody or property splits. When litigation enters the picture, things take longer because it now involves the court system. Not all divorces call for a deposition, but many do and it pays to be prepared for it by knowing what to expect. Read on and find out all about divorce depositions.

What is a Deposition?

Depositions happen in nearly every area of court procedure. This meeting is part of discovery – a process that prepares each side to appear in court and plead their case. You can expect the deposition to be about whatever issues you and your spouse don't agree on. Surprises can happen at a deposition, but the point of this meeting is to avoid surprises in court. For example, it might be distressing to find out through the questioning at a deposition that your spouse is challenging your parental fitness. Here are some tips on what might occur during a deposition:

1.You can expect to be sworn in before you are questioned. Anything you say is recorded and may be used in court. While no judge is present, lawyers can still enter objections for the record.

2. Your divorce lawyer is present at all times and will help you prepare for the questioning. Often, the issues are well-known and limited.

3. You will be questioned by both your lawyer and your spouse's lawyer.

4. If you have not been totally forthcoming with your lawyer, do so before the deposition. You don't want them to find out about past infidelity, for example, during the deposition. Let them know about everything so they can prepare when it comes up. That means things like:

  • Relationships with others during the marriage.
  • Allegations of abuse.
  • Past financial difficulties like bankruptcy.
  • Past criminal incidents.
  • Issues that might affect child custody.

5. The other side will be paying attention to not just your answers to questions buy how you behave under questioning. The calmer and more articulate you are, the more the other side will want to settle things outside of court, for example.

6. In general, it best to keep in mind these tips for answering questions:

  • Answer only what is asked, nothing more.
  • If you don't know the answer, say so. If you don't understand the question, say so.
  • Be sure you understand what is being asked before you speak.

For more information and tips on getting through your divorce deposition, speak to your family law attorney services provider.