Divorce may sound like a scary subject to you, involving a splitting of assets, communication you may have never thought would exist, and questions you may be a little on edge to answer. If your divorce has become a form of messy that you would have never expected and you feel like both sides are having a hard time moving forward, deposition may be the last step for you – divorce with a trial. The truth of the matter is that depositions are typically expensive and can be quite humiliating depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. For instance, if you were engaging in infidelity at some point in your marriage or other questionable acts like hidden drug use, these questions will not necessarily be unavoidable. Deposition is a way for both parties to lie out all issues on the table. So how can you prepare yourself for this event?
The Process of Deposition
In a deposition, you should expect to see the following people: Obviously both you and your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, your spouse, and a court reporter. The court reporter will be there to record everything that is said on a stenograph machine. After the deposition is complete, the reporter will transcribe everything that was said into a written transcript and you will have a chance to review it as well as your spouse and their attorney. Attorneys will usually only ask questions during a deposition if clarity needs given in response to an already-asked question.
There are some things that you should remember when preparing for your deposition. For one, you must set the time aside, seeing as depositions could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete depending on the issues at hand. You should have also received a “Notice of Deposition” from your spouse’s attorney, which will contain things like the date of deposition, time, and place you should report to. If you are going to be videotapes, there should be information about that. When you are preparing, you will receive the most help from your attorney. You should gather up the outfit you want to wear for the day, something professional in nature that looks presentable if the case ends up on trial. You should also come in with the knowledge that deposition is not quite at the trial stage, but instead a way for your spouse’s attorney to attempt to gather evidence against you. You should always understand that you should never argue with the attorney or your spouse because they will be able to build a case against you if you act adversely.
When your deposition is taking place, there are some simple things to keep in mind to help you through the process:
- Never rush your answers: Always pause to collect your thoughts, which will give your attorney time to object to the question if it seems improper. You never want to blurt out information that will hurt you in the long run.
- Remain calm: Your lawyer will be there by your side every step of the way. You do not have to worry about the process, no matter what you have seen or heard about depositions.
- Listen to each question carefully: You never want to give the wrong answer and hurt your case, so think about each question as it was asked.
- Make sure you understand each question: Never guess at an answer just because you don’t know. You are allowed to say that you do not have the answer to that question. This will prevent them from using information against you that you may have guessed.
- Never lie: False testimony at a deposition will be picked up. When you create a false story, the true answer will be found and you will pay for the mistake.
What Happens Afterward?
After the deposition is finally complete, no matter how many hours or days it took, you will be able to breathe deeply again. The court reporter will then work to complete the transcript of your deposition. When it is finished, you will have an opportunity to review it for accuracy. You will usually have about 30 days after it is released to you to read it over and correct any errors that may have been made. If your case goes to trial, you should look back on the deposition as reference so that you don’t accidentally contradict something you said to the court reporter.
Deposition may be a scary subject for you if you are involved in a divorce; however, with the right attorney, the case can be made less scary. Now that you understand the ins and outs of deposition, you may want to speak with an attorney. At The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, we are there for you every step of the way – from start to finish in your divorce case.