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How Do I Prepare for a Deposition in a Divorce Case?

High conflict and multiple contested issues may cause divorcing parties to want to conduct depositions-a part of the discovery process-in a divorce case.

Depositions often dramatically affect the outcome of a divorce case. If you are involved a deposition, you will be sworn in and you must answer the questions asked by the lawyer for the other side.

Deposition Basics

When you testify in a deposition, you are under oath, just the same as if you were in open court. A court reporter is often present. Also, the deposition may be recorded with audio and/or video. Therefore, if you later testify at the trial about something differently than you stated in your deposition, the other side can point out the discrepancy.

Most people are nervous about having their deposition taken. This is natural. However, answering questions clearly and accurately is easier when you are calm. Additionally, it is important to answer the questions you are asked. Give brief, but complete, answers. If a lawyer wants more information, then he or she will ask another question. It is not your job in a deposition to give a lawyer what you think he or she wants to hear. It is your job to tell the truth and to only answer the questions you are asked.

What You Should Review

The deposition will cover all of the issues at stake in the divorce. Therefore, you should read through all of the filings you and your legal team have made in the case. If there is anything inaccurate in the court papers, then you need to bring these inaccuracies to your lawyer's attention before the deposition.

Depending on your specific case, you may also want to review financial statements, account balances, any logs relating to parenting issues, and any other documents that your lawyer asks you to review. Still, you should not try to cram for a deposition. Just like in school, trying to absorb too much information under stress, in a short time period, may worsen your memory and negatively affect your testimony.

Meeting with Your Lawyer

When you meet with your lawyer, he or she will have specific instructions for you. If the deposition is being taped, your lawyer may want you to dress a certain way. You may also be asked to review or to not review certain things. Trust your lawyer's process and follow his or her instructions. Your lawyer has gone through many more divorce depositions than you have.

Visualizing the Questions

One of the most helpful actions to take is to visualize being asked questions. Think about how tough or awkward questions may make you feel. Practice staying calm and focused. Do not try to outsmart the other lawyer. Instead, visualize yourself giving brief, truthful answers. The more you can visualize the process, the better you will feel when you have to actually go through the deposition.

If you have questions about property division, support, custody, or any divorce issues such as depositions, please contact an experienced Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer. Call The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. today at 630-462-9500 to schedule your consultation.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/supremecourt/Rules/Art_II/ArtII.htm#202

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1776 S. Naperville Road - Building B, Suite 202
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