What Do I Do If My Spouse’s Divorce Attorney Sends Me A Deposition Notice?
If you are going through a divorce, you may receive a notice of deposition from your spouse’s attorney. Lawyers take depositions in order to find out information that could be helpful to them for their case, as well as to gather statements made under oath that could be used against your interest, or that could compromise your credibility, etc.
If you are going to be deposed, it is imperative that you work with your attorney to prepare for the deposition. Most attorneys are very skilled at taking depositions and will know how to make a witness feel uncomfortable. Below, we will discuss some tips to help you prepare for and participate in a deposition:
What To Initially Expect & How To Prepare
Those present at your deposition will be your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, and the court reporter, who will record every question asked and answer given, word for word. It is also possible that your spouse will be present, as well as anyone else who is directly relevant to the case, such as a Guardian Ad Litem or child representative in custody/time sharing issues. The judge will not be present and, in fact, will not see the transcript from the deposition unless one of the attorneys asks them to.
The process is fairly straightforward; When you arrive, you will be asked to take an oath and your spouse’s attorney will then ask you questions. What the court reporter records will be turned into a transcript which you will be allowed to review before it is finalized. The entire process usually lasts around three hours, although this depends upon the specific circumstances of each divorce. While it may seem informal at times, know that it is very important, and the consequences are very formal.
Make Sure You Pause Before Answering & Carefully Choose Your Answers
Always make sure that you pause and think before answering any question. It is crucial that you not only understand the question, but pause to think before you answer and make sure that you concentrate on the substance of your testimony, only answering the question that is being asked of you.
By pausing first before answering, you also provide your attorney with a chance to object first before you answer the question. This is very important, as even if you do end up having to answer the question, the court reporter will have a chance to record the objection first. In addition, if your attorney does object, wait for them to provide you with instructions regarding how to proceed with regards to the question before answering.
Feel Free To Say You Do Not Understand, Know, Or Remember
Also remember that you are not there to be a helpful witness and it is not your job to help the opposing attorney. If they ask you a question that you do not understand, feel free to indicate that you do not understand the question. It does not mean that you should follow up with a conditional question that could provide the attorney with extra information (for example, “if you mean x, then y.”), but simply indicate that you do not understand the question. It is also completely fine to say that you do not remember or do not know. This is always better than guessing.
If Documents Are Brought Up, Make Sure They Are Read Closely
If the opposing attorney brings up the topic of any specific documents and starts asking questions about the documents, know that this is a very important part of the deposition because documents often form crucial evidence in a case. Never testify about the content of a document that you are not completely familiar with unless it is right in front of you and you have been provided with an opportunity to read it.
Ignore Tactics To Elicit Extra Information
Be aware that there are a number of tactics that attorneys can use to try to elicit additional information from you, such as giving you the silent treatment in order to make you feel uncomfortable or that your answer is incomplete so that you perhaps continue to talk and provide them with extra information. They may also try repeating the question more than once. Do not be afraid to stick to your original answer and avoid offering them extra information.
Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys for Assistance
Greater Orlando Family Law is here for you and all of your family law needs. Contact our compassionate Orlando divorce attorneys today to find out more about our services.