In the author’s opinion, the deposition is the most important fact gathering event in most family law cases. A deposition is a question and answer session conducted under oath with counsel asking questions of the other party or litigant. That means your deposition is the other attorney asking you questions, or the reverse. Typically present are both litigants (such as Husband and Wife), both attorneys and a court reporter. Judges are not present. In most cases, both parties may be deposed on the same day to save time and money. Your attorney will review the pertinent details of your family law case prior to the deposition. Your recorded testimony may be used at trial so make sure you are correct in your statements. It is important to get a good night’s rest. In helping your divorce lawyer prepare questions for the other party, anything that you feel is important should be written down and discussed together. This will help prepare both of you and help your divorce lawyer understand your mindset. There is no substitute for a thorough discussion with your attorney just prior to a deposition, especially your own deposition.
Depositions may also be taken of other, non-party witnesses such as accountants or eye witnesses. Though less common than party depositions they are also very important information gathering and fact proving tools.
In contested divorce situations the emotional stress is enough to make almost any normal party insane. Attending your deposition fully prepared by your attorney, and understanding the dynamics and possible uses of depositions, is of great importance. Preparation can make the experience both less stressful and more successful.