Depositions and Your Divorce: What to Expect
Depositions are one of many discovery techniques that lawyers use when representing clients in any type of lawsuit, including a divorce. Discovery, in general, is designed to allow your attorney to get information from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse about issues related to your divorce. Through the discovery process, both sides to a dispute are able to obtain all of the information necessary to either negotiate a resolution or proceed to trial. Contrary to what you might see on TV, court proceedings normally do not contain any elements of surprise.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition involves a person giving testimony under oath about issues related to your divorce in the presence of all parties to the lawsuit, their attorneys, and a court reporter. The most typical subjects of a deposition are the parties themselves, although an attorney may want to depose any experts who have participated in your case, as well, such as a timeharing evaluator or a mental health professional who has treated your children. If you are called to give a deposition, your spouse’s attorney will ask you a series of questions about issues related to your divorce. Your attorney later will have the chance to help you clarify testimony or give additional information about matters brought up in your deposition. Your attorney also has the opportunity to object to an inappropriate line of questioning or other issues that he or she feels are off-limits.
Why Take a Deposition?
In many respects, a deposition is a sort of “dress rehearsal” prior to going to trial. Your spouse’s attorney is likely to ask you many of the same questions during trial that he or she does during your deposition. While giving a deposition may make you nervous, it will help you better prepare for testifying at trial. Your attorney also can help you prepare for the deposition by asking you the types of questions that you are likely to hear from the other attorney during the deposition. The important thing to remember is that you need to be consistent in your answers. If you answer a question one way during a deposition, but then answer it another way during trial, your ex’s attorney will seize that opportunity to make you out to look less than truthful.
What Questions Can I Expect During My Deposition?
The first several questions you are likely to encounter are just basic informational questions. Even if this information is already well-known to everyone in the room, you will be asked to state your name, address, place of employment, job history, and educational background. The next set of questions is likely to focus on which issues pertaining to your divorce can be resolved, i.e. through an agreement between you and your spouse. The bulk of the questions, however, usually will address your positions on certain disputed issues in your divorce. Depending on your situation, you may be asked questions about your preferred timesharing schedule for your children, which of you should stay in the marital residence, or whether you believe that you are entitled to alimony from your spouse. Since every divorce has different disputed issues, the focus of questions during a deposition also will change according to each individual case.
Call Your Florida Divorce Lawyer and Schedule an Appointment Today
At Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we know how nerve-wracking divorce preparation and proceedings can be. This is why you need an experienced Florida divorce lawyer to guide you through the legal process and answer your questions as they arise. Consult a Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney for advice, and learn how our services can benefit you as you go through your divorce proceedings.