Going through a divorce is a stressful time for all parties involved. The divorce process can be lengthy, stressful, and unnerving since you might not know what to expect. One key component of divorce proceedings is the deposition.
A deposition is used during the discovery phase of divorce proceedings. It provides the parties in the divorce with the ability to gain information relevant to the case. Depositions are conducted outside of a courtroom, but the information can be used at trial and a court reporter is present to record what happens. In a divorce deposition, it’s critical to obtain information that builds your case and gives you the best chance of getting what you want in the settlement. Prior to your deposition, an attorney will likely ask you most, if not all, of the following questions depending on the nature of your case.
1. Finances. Finances are a big concern in a divorce. Current income, potential sources of income, and any assets such as property, vehicles or investments can impact settlement negotiations. Having accurate financial information ensures that the division of marital assets is fair and doesn’t disadvantage one party over the other. Financial issues also need to be worked out when both parties have accumulated debt during the marriage.
2. Custody and child care. If there are children involved in the divorce, it’s critical to establish custody and visitation rights. Questions may include where the children will be while the other parent is at work or how they are going to care for them in their current living situation. The ultimate goal is to work towards the best outcome for the children. The situation may change drastically from how it was previously established while you were married and living together.
3. Recreational or dangerous activities. Some personal information might be relevant during a deposition such as illegal drug use or excessive alcohol consumption. Anything that might impact safety or the quality of life for the children should be addressed and considered.
4. Specific incidents and dates. If there are circumstances that led to the divorce that are relevant to any of the issues being contested during the divorce, whether it’s related to division of assets or custody, bring them up during the deposition. This ensures the information goes on the record and may help the judge make their decisions.
5. Health. Your health may come into question if you have a mental or physical condition that can impact your judgement or ability to care for children of the marriage. You may also be asked if you carry life, disability or homeowner’s insurance and who the listed beneficiary is for the policies.
Depositions can get emotional and be stressful as a result. Having an idea of what to expect can reduce or eliminate your anxiety.