My spouse’s attorney wants to take my deposition in our divorce case. What is a deposition?
What is a deposition?
A deposition is the asking and answering of questions under oath, outside of court, in the presence of a court reporter. A deposition may be taken of you, your spouse, or potential witnesses in your divorce case, including experts. Both attorneys will be present. You and your spouse also have the right to be present during the taking of depositions of any witnesses in your case.
Depositions are not performed in every divorce. They are most common in cases involving contested custody, complex financial issues, and expert witnesses.
After your deposition is completed, the questions and answers will be transcribed, that is, typed by the court reporter exactly as given and bound into one or more volumes.
What is the purpose of a deposition?
A deposition can serve a number of purposes such as:
• Supporting the settlement process by providing valuable information
• Helping your attorney determine who to use as witnesses at trial
• Aiding in the assessment of a witness’s credibility, that is, whether the witness appears to be telling the truth
• Helping avoid surprises at the trial by learning the testimony of witnesses in advance
• Preserving testimony in the event the witness becomes unavailable for trial
Depositions can be essential tools in a divorce, especially when a case is likely to proceed to trial.