Divorce Depositions

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What is a Divorce Deposition?

A divorce deposition is a tool used during what is called the discovery process.  Discovery is that phase that starts before trial, wherein the parties exchange information between each other.  A divorce deposition is basically a meeting between the two parties to a divorce.  It has two main purposes, which are:

Depositions are a necessary part of any divorce proceeding.  The information obtained from depositions will form the basis of the analysis in the upcoming trial or hearings.  Many important decisions may be based on the information from depositions, such as those related to child custody/support, and property divisions.

Who May be Present at a Divorce Deposition?

Generally speaking, the persons present at a divorce deposition include: the parties (the spouses seeking divorce), their respective lawyers, and a court reporter who will transcribe the question and answer sessions.  In some instances, a “guardian ad litem” (expert witness) may be present in order to observe the deposition and later evaluate the testimonies of the parties.  A judge is usually not present at divorce depositions.

In addition, any person who might be called as a witness in the trial may be requested to appear at the deposition.  They will also be interviewed by the opposing party.  Persons who are requested to be at a deposition will usually receive a “Notice of Deposition” which formally requests their presence at the deposition. 

At a divorce deposition, the person who is being interviewed (deposed) is called the “deponent”. 

What Type of Information is Exchanged during Divorce Depositions?

Each divorce deposition will be different depending on the issues that will be raised in the divorce proceedings.  For example, some divorce cases will focus more on property issues, while other may focus more on witness credibility.  In general, depositions will touch upon the following types of information:

Some examples of questions that are commonly asked at a divorce deposition include: 

Thus, the questions that are posed in a deposition can range from very broad to very specific.  While you don’t have to disclose any confidential information, it is best if you answer questions in a manner that is cooperative and forthcoming.  You should communicate in a manner that demonstrates your ability express the truth as clearly and accurately as possible.

Do I need a Lawyer for a Divorce Deposition?

If you have filed for divorce, you should work closely with a family lawyer.  Your attorney will be able to counsel you and prepare you for depositions and other types of meetings.  In addition, your attorney can help you compile all the documents and information that will be used during trial.  Divorce laws vary widely by state, so be sure to ask your lawyer if you have questions about the laws of your area.

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Last Modified: 06-17-2011 11:08 AM PDT

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