Unless the whole divorce process between you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse settles very quickly, there’s a good chance that the lawyer representing your spouse will depose you.
A deposition is sort of a question and answer session between you and the other party’s lawyers. You will be asked a series of questions, and you are to answer truthfully, as you will be placed under oath by a court reporter.
Divorce depositions are unnerving, and they are becoming a common scenario in places like Utah, where the divorce rate is slightly above the national average. The truth, however, is that you have control over the depositions. You hold information the other party wants, and you can determine how and when it’s delivered. The key is to relax and know what to do.
1. Calm Down
Just because a deposition has been scheduled doesn’t mean you need to go through one of those traumatizing scenes you saw on Suits, Law and Order, or How to Get Away With Murder. Your lawyer will be there to protect you against the other party’s abuse from asking questions. Calm down.
2. Listen and Answer Carefully
There is no requirement that you need to answer the questions immediately. Take your time. Wait for the opposing lawyer to finish their question, and have them repeat it if necessary. Take your time formulating an answer before saying it out loud.
Make sure you understand the question before answering it, and don’t give out information that is not asked.
3. Listen to Your Lawyer
As the BuhlerLawOffice.com puts it, one of the most important decisions you will make in a divorce is hiring your attorney. You hire the one who’s professional, reliable, and understands your situation. As such, it will be wise to heed their advice.
If your lawyer tells you not to answer a question, don’t answer it. When they object to a question from the opposing counsel, consider the nature of the objection (e.g., a rephrasing of a misleading question).
4. Answer as Best as You Can
If you’re asked a question and don’t know the answer, don’t guess. If you guessed wrong, they could use your statement against you. There’s nothing wrong with answering “I don’t know” if you really don’t know.
5. Tell the Truth
You are under oath – answer truthfully at all times. Keep your answers short and concise. Lying to the court will only get you in trouble.
Divorce depositions may sound scary, but coming prepared will definitely reduce your stress and anxiety, and will portray you in the best light possible.