If you’ve watched legal dramas, the term “deposition” may already be familiar to you. While the process of giving a deposition usually looks intimidating in the movies, in reality, it’s not as nerve-wracking as you might think.
The Purpose of a Divorce Deposition
A divorce deposition is a sworn statement that you give at the request (or demand) of your spouse’s attorney. It is usually given in the presence of your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, a court reporter, and your spouse. You have the same obligation to be truthful during a deposition as you would if you were testifying in a courtroom.
One way that lawyers help their clients is by learning what other people are going to say in court. This is considered a part of the ‘discovery process’. Basically, neither side is allowed to withhold evidence or other important information. This is why Colorado - among other states - allows attorneys to call in witnesses and others to be deposed.
With a deposition, the lawyer can learn what you intend to say during any hearings, and your version of events. During the deposition, the attorney may ask questions that compel you to make statements in favor of your ex. They may also attempt to make you feel intimidated.
This why it is important to hire a divorce attorney. They will prepare you for a deposition. You can also count on them being there during the process. Your attorney can stop the other party from crossing any legal lines, and you can seek their advice during the process. If you’ve been summoned to give a deposition, and haven’t hired an attorney, take action immediately. Inform your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney that you will not be proceeding without a family lawyer.
Information Provided in a Divorce Deposition
The questions you will be asked will depend on the particulars of your situation. However, there are a few subject areas that are probably going to be addressed. These are:
- Specific incidents that could impact the resolution of the case: If a family law attorney believes that any events may have an impact on custody, child support, or division of assets they will ask you for your version of those events and details you remember.
- Your activities and behaviors: The lawyer conducting the deposition may ask you about activities or behaviors such as drug or alcohol consumption. They may also ask you about your conduct during the marriage.
- Your financial situation: You may be asked about your income, assets, and any debts you have incurred. Having this information helps lawyers ensure that property is divided fairly and that any support orders are fair.
- Child care and custody arrangements: If there are children involved, you may be asked questions about your work schedule, when you spend time with the children, and if they spend time with sitters or in daycare. This information may be used to propose custody and visitation arrangements.
Keep in mind that while these questions may seem invasive, your Denver Family Law attorney will likely be deposing your spouse as well. In fact you may be recruited by your lawyer to write up questions for your spouse to answer. Remember that the goal shouldn’t be to dig for dirt. Instead, focus on gathering information towards a fair resolution.
Don’t be intimidated at being called in for a deposition. It is a normal part of the legal process. Your lawyer will be there to help. And if you don’t have one yet, schedule a call with one of our professionals today.