When in the middle of a divorce, you want to head into your deposition with as much information as possible. Naturally, the courts will want a share of that information, which is where a divorce deposition comes in handy.
In legal terms, a deposition pertains to a statement taken under oath and out of court, used as a means of witness testimony. While it’s impossible to predict every question you’ll encounter during your deposition; there are excellent methods of preparation you can take part in with your family attorney.
Why is a Deposition Necessary to Florida Divorce Cases?
Most divorces end up going to trial, for which a deposition acts as a type of rehearsal. This process allows each party to clarify circumstances under oath.
Before the deposition, your attorney will prepare a list of questions to prevent an ambush trial. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll hear the same questions during your official trial. If you do, it’s essential to know that your spouse’s attorney will likely use your deposition against you if you answer differently.
A deposition isn’t just helpful to the court—it’ll also give you insight regarding how your spouse intends to answer questions and whether they are truthful. Occasionally, a deposition might dissuade you or your spouse from heading into a public trial.
How Much Does a Deposition Cost?
On average, a two-hour deposition with a court reporter will set you back between $400 and $500. This cost considers the expenses associated with your attorney’s time and effort. If an expert becomes deposed, the price will increase.
Some divorce attorneys advise against depositions, mainly if they aren’t worth what can be potentially gained. Unless there is an opportunity for the opposing spouse to become impeached at trial or there is uncertainty regarding the information exchanged at trial, some parties opt to skip out.
What You’ll Be Asked During a Deposition
After being sworn in to testify, you must take the time to contemplate your answer. If you are unsure about the answer to a particular question, refrain from guessing. If you are questioned regarding the date of a specific incident, taking a wild guess can make it appear as though you deliberately lied.
At the beginning of your deposition, you’ll be expected to answer questions regarding your basic information, such as your name, address, occupation, health history, and finances. As a rule of thumb, be prepared to receive an entirely unrelated question in an attempt to throw you off. If you become anxious, take a breath—answer the question carefully and deliberately.
If a question triggers an angry response, do your best to compose yourself and remain clear-headed. A calm disposition will work to your advantage throughout the process.
When the deposition is over and you receive the transcript, you’ll have the opportunity to make any necessary corrections.
Remember, a deposition is a method of discovery, during which you’ll be required to answer most—if not all—of the questions asked. As a general rule, be straightforward with your answers, speaking clearly, and refraining from losing your temper. If your attorney doesn’t offer frequent objections, don’t worry—stay calm.
Dissolving a marriage is never an easy process to overcome. If you feel volatile and emotional and require the legal guidance of a competent divorce attorney, give us at Parra Harris Law a call.