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What Is a Divorce Deposition?

Divorce Deposition

Depositions in Divorce Cases  

A divorce deposition is an integral part of the discovery process in a divorce litigation. It involves a question-and-answer session where a witness, under oath, answers questions about the case. The questions can be about your:  

  • marriage,  

  • assets,  

  • children, and  

  • any other relevant topics/issues.  

The deposition can play a crucial role in a divorce proceeding, providing valuable information that can shape the outcome of the case. This session is typically held in a lawyer's office with a court reporter present to record the proceedings. Everything said during the deposition can be used as evidence in court. 

This blog post will delve into what a divorce deposition is, why it's done, and essential information about the process. We'll also provide a list of common questions you might be asked during the deposition and explain why these are important. 

Why is a Divorce Deposition Done? 

The main purpose of a divorce deposition is to gather information. The process allows each party's attorney to:  

  • understand the facts of the case better,  

  • assess the credibility of witnesses, and  

  • prepare for potential arguments in court. 

The Deposition Process 

The deposition process begins with the person being deposed (the deponent) taking an oath to tell the truth. The attorney for the opposing party then asks a series of questions related to the divorce case.  

These can range from simple background information to detailed inquiries about finances and child custody arrangements. The deponent's attorney has the right to object to certain questions and may also ask follow-up questions. 

Common Questions During a Divorce Deposition 

While every deposition is unique, here are some of the categories commonly asked questions fall into:  

  • Background information. Questions will generally ask you to share your name, address, education, employment history, and so on. 

  • Marital history. These questions will be about the length of your marriage, date of separation, and reasons for divorce. 

  • Financial information. The opposing party’s attorney may make detailed queries about your income, expenses, assets, debts, and financial contributions during the marriage. 

  • Children. If children are involved, expect questions about their care, custody arrangements, and other related issues.  

Unusual or Surprising Questions 

While most questions are straightforward, some may catch you off guard. For example, you may be asked questions about the following: 

  • Detailed queries about personal habits. These might include questions about your lifestyle, such as your drinking habits or whether you have ever used illegal drugs. 

  • Questions about your relationships. You might be asked about your relationships with other people, including any extramarital affairs. These questions, although uncomfortable, can be relevant to determine your character and fitness as a parent. In some cases, these questions may center around determining whether marital misconduct is a factor. 

What if You Need Help Answering a Question? 

If you're unsure how to answer a question, don't panic. You can ask the attorney to rephrase the question, or you can consult with your attorney before responding. Remember, it's better to say "I don't know" or "I don't remember" than to guess an answer. 

Can an Attorney Object to a Line of Questioning? 

Yes, your attorney can object to a line of questioning. However, not all questions can be objected to, as legally valid reasons for an objection in this setting vary.  

They might object if a question is irrelevant, overly broad, or vague. Their role is to protect your interests during the deposition. 

Preparing for a Divorce Deposition 

Given the importance of a divorce deposition, it's crucial to be well-prepared. A skilled divorce attorney can help you understand what to expect, guide you through the process, and prepare you for the types of questions you might be asked. 

Practicing your responses is another key aspect of preparation. Your tone of voice should be calm and composed, even when faced with provoking questions. Keep your answers concise and stick to the facts without letting emotions dictate your responses. 

Emotions can run high during a deposition, especially when discussing sensitive topics. It is important to take a moment to compose yourself if you feel overwhelmed. Remember, the purpose of the deposition is to gather information, not to upset or provoke you. In preparation for the deposition, figure out what questions may provoke you to practice sticking to the facts when you answer them.  

Divorce Attorneys Serving Clients in New Jersey & Pennsylvania  

At William Kirby Law, Family Law Attorneys, our attorneys can be a resource to you during the divorce process. From helping you develop a personalized case strategy to offering strategies on how to navigate different parts of the divorce process (including a deposition), our team can work to help you obtain the best possible case results.  

Contact us online or via phone at (215) 515-9901 to discuss your case with our attorneys.