There are few parts of the divorce process as difficult as a deposition. There are many reasons for this, from the often-arduous preparation involved to the direct nature of questioning. Regardless of why it is so difficult, the simple fact remains that your divorce will require a deposition. The experienced attorneys at Brian D. Perskin & Associates are here to help you learn divorce deposition tips and strategies to make the entire process a bit easier.
What Exactly is a Divorce Deposition?
Before we offer any tips or advice about preparing for a divorce deposition, it is important to know exactly what a deposition is. This is the part of the divorce process where you answer questions asked by your ex-partner’s attorney. It is not conducted in the courtroom, though there will be a court reporter present taking notes. Your attorney will also be present. Before you answer any questions, the reporter will place you under oath. This means that you are sworn to tell the truth. Your deposition answers are, generally speaking, not on the public record, though they might be used in court. If this is the case, the court can still seal your divorce records, protecting them from the public eye.
Our Top Five Divorce Deposition Tips
There is no shortage of divorce deposition tips but find five of the most important below.
Remember the old adage “how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” The same is true for your deposition. You need to begin preparing for a divorce deposition long before it occurs. This can take many forms, including:
- List out events from your marriage chronologically
- Practice talking about these events neutrally and in question and answer form
- List all financial information related to your marriage as well as personal financial information
- Work with your attorney throughout this entire process – you will want to generate an effective deposition strategy
Preparing for a divorce deposition may look different than the above examples, but they should serve as helpful guideposts.
Listen, Listen, Listen
Next on our list of divorce deposition tips is to listen carefully to your former partner’s attorney as they ask you questions. Wait for them to complete their entire question before you answer. You do not want to inadvertently give them more information than they need.
If You Don’t Understand a Question, Don’t Answer It
Keeping the above in mind, do not be afraid to take your time before responding. Think about the question you are asked, and be absolutely sure you know the answer before you begin speaking. If you do not understand the question, for whatever reason, ask the attorney for clarification. Lawyers often speak in overly complicated “legalese” – do not be embarrassed to ask the attorney to repeat their question in a simpler manner.
Tell the Truth
This is perhaps the most important, and the most easily forgotten, of all divorce deposition tips. Tell the truth at all times, no matter what. Remember that you are under oath. This means that it is a crime to lie. You may think that a small lie does not matter or that an inconsequential detail can be changed. This is not the case. Always tell the truth.
Learn the Difference Between “I Don’t Remember” and “I Don’t Know”
There is a difference between saying “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember.” The former means that you do not and have never known the answer to a question. The latter means that you do know the answer but cannot recall it at the moment. The difference is small, but you do not want to inadvertently lie or place yourself in any sort of negative light.
Choose New York’s Premier Divorce Attorneys
The deposition process is often stressful and intimidating, but at Brian D. Perkin & Associates, we can make things a little easier. Aside from ensuring our clients are adequately prepared and briefed on all matters, we can get you prepped if it’s your first time going through a deposition.
Now that you know the best ways of preparing for a divorce deposition, and five of the most important divorce deposition tips, it is time to take the next step. Call New York’s premier divorce law firm, Brian D. Perskin & Associates, today at (718) 875-7584 or complete our online contact form.