A family law deposition is a formal oral question and answer process that takes place in setting is less formal than a courtroom. Depositions usually take place in a conference room with lawyers, pro-litigants, and with no judge present.
Family Law or Divorce Depositions while having some informal aspects do bear many of the same qualities as a full-blown trial. For example. As the deponent you will be placed under oath, and your testimony may be recorded or video taped and transcribed by an official court reporter. Questions are answered under penalty of perjury, meaning that you must answer questions completely and truthfully.
Difference Between Deposition and Courtroom Questioning
The major difference between deposition questions and questions in a courtroom is that in a family law deposition the lawyer may ask you questions the answers to which are “likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” even if the question, itself, doesn’t yield an admissible answer. In a courtroom the attorney can only ask questions which lead to admissible answers. A deposition is not a settlement negotiation. It’s a discovery tool.
Tips for a Successful Divorce or Family Law Deposition
- Prepare carefully for your deposition – the overwhelming percentage of divorce or family law cases settle prior to trial. Testifying at a depositions could very well be the only testimony you give.
- Be Accurate- What you say or don’t say will have a major impact on the eventual resolution of your divorce or family law case. As a deponent you should be as careful and accurate as possible in your family law deposition testimony.
- Keep Your Words and Answers Short- Clients in any type of litigation have a natural tendency to tell their story. Resist the urge for conversation. Do not help the opposing counsel with insights into your case. Tell the truth but only answer the specific questions asked of you and give them as little information as possible.
- Keep Your Cool- The purpose of a divorce or family law deposition is for the opposing council to acquire information to their benefit. Sometimes the tactic employed will incite you into emotion in order to get you to reveal information. Stay Calm and keep your eyes on the prize.
- Listen to your Family Law Attorney– Be clear on the deposition strategy and agreement between and your lawyer. If your attorney objects at any given moment, stop talking. Everything your divorce lawyer tells you is privileged information and not subject to disclosure, in this case, the opposing counsel.
Hire the Law Offices of Charles M. Green, APLC a California Board Certified Specialist in Family Law to represent you in your Dissolution of Marriage case and especially at a noticed Deposition Session. Call (213) 387-4508 for a consultation appointment.