Divorce can be a complicated process, and the anxiety and fear of the unknown can add to the mental distress. If you are required to attend a divorce deposition, you may be concerned about what you will be required to say and how the process takes place. However, the more you know what to expect, the less stressed you will be. Therefore, it is important to understand what a divorce deposition entails.
A divorce deposition is defined as a sworn testimony that is recorded by a court reporter. The deposition typically occurs at the offices of the attorney who requested the deposition or may be held at the court reporter’s office. Due to the pandemic, some jurisdictions have allowed video conferences for various court processes, so be sure to ask your family law attorney if that is an option for you.
Depositions can be intimidating. No one likes to go into a deposition without knowing what to expect. Because they will be under oath, it is natural to want to know what the questions will be. And although there is no way to outline every possible question you may be asked, we can help you by providing some of the most typical questions asked during a divorce deposition.
Your personal finances play a significant role in the divorce process because both marital assets and debts will be divided fairly. This does not mean that the finances will be split down the middle necessarily, just that each spouse will receive (or pay) their fair share based on all other factors. If your spouse believes that you are hiding assets, you can expect questions about your finances. You will also likely be asked about your personal income, debts, and assets, as well as any real estate you may own. Your spouse’s lawyer may also request information about your monthly financial expenses, so decisions about alimony or child support can be made equitably. You may also be asked about the possibility of filing for bankruptcy either before or after the divorce.
Custody: If you and your spouse had children, your spouse’s attorney will likely ask questions regarding child custody issues. They may inquire about who provides childcare when you are unavailable, where they attend school, what their daily life is like at home, and if your child has any special needs. The answers you provide will help the judge make an informed decision when making a final ruling on custody issues and parenting plans.
If you have any mental or physical health conditions, you will probably be asked about them during the deposition. You may have to identify your issue, describe your treatments, and discuss if the health problem precludes you from adequately caring for your children making sound financial decisions.
Personal Life: You may think that your personal life is of no concern to the court. However, especially in a contentious divorce, your spouse may try to show that your behavior is reckless or dangerous – such as if you go out drinking on the weekends. If your spouse has concerns about any of your friends or family members being around the children, you may field questions regarding these relationships.
Be Prepared: An experienced family law attorney will be able to thoroughly prepare you for your deposition based upon your specific situation. You must be very open and honest with your attorney regarding these topics, as you do not want to be caught with a question you do not expect.
If you are facing a divorce and live in the Sarasota area, call the law offices of Richard V. Ellis for a free consultation.