A deposition entails providing a verbal testimony under oath, often in front of a court reporter. Attorneys take depositions to gather information, obtain certain facts regarding the marriage, determine your abilities as a witness, and even attempt to reach a divorce agreement without the need for court litigation.
The following are helpful tips to apply when providing a deposition:
- Act in a respectful manner. Being rude or hateful toward the opposing counsel can harm your case.
- Always tell the truth. Lies can be difficult to recall and typically come back to haunt you, negatively affecting the outcome of the settlement.
- Only answer the question being asked. There is no need to go into detail, expound or provide long answers, since they can leave room for mistakes that can be used against you in court.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney for help. If you don’t understand a question, do not hesitate to make your lawyer explain it.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” If you do not know the answer to the question being asked, it is okay not to know the answer. Guessing can only get you into trouble.
- Don’t volunteer information. Giving away information that is not asked can only harm your case.
- Pause before answering a question. This gives you the opportunity to let the question sink in before providing an answer. In addition, this gives your lawyer time to object a question if necessary.
- Never interrupt the lawyer asking the questions. The court reporter cannot obtain an adequate record. Interrupting will only delay your deposition.
- If a question has been repeated, don’t be afraid to say so. Lawyers are notorious for asking the same question over and over again or in a variety of ways.