Divorce Depositions: Some Crucial Things You Need To Know
If you are going through a Florida divorce, you might have to go through what is known as a deposition. Depositions are a common aspect of the discovery phase, which is the stage in which divorcing parties and their attorneys try to gather as much evidence as they can. Depositions are among the most important tools in a divorce attorney’s discovery tool kit. Depositions allow the other parties’ attorneys to discover helpful information that can help them in their case and sometimes reveal information against a party’s interest that could affect their credibility. However, not many people use depositions in divorce because of the costs.
What Is a Deposition?
As already mentioned, depositions come in during the discovery phase. But what exactly is a deposition? Simply put, a deposition is a session where your divorce attorney asks your spouse questions, or your spouse’s attorney asks you questions under oath. Other witnesses or people directly relevant to your divorce case can also be deposed. For example, a Guardian Ad Litem can be deposed if your divorce involves timesharing and parenting plan issues.
Usually, the questions asked during a divorce deposition are similar to those asked at trial. However, you should note that a deposition is not a trial. In fact, judges do not even attend depositions.
What Happens at a Divorce Deposition?
If it is your turn to be deposed, your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, and maybe even your spouse will be at your deposition. A court reporter will also be present at your deposition. You will be asked to take an oath, and then your spouse’s attorney will begin questioning you. The court reporter will record the attorney’s questions and your answers. Later on, they will provide the questions and answers they recorded in the form of a transcript. Fortunately, you are allowed to review the transcript for accuracy and make any necessary changes, this is called “reading” and you may also elect to “waive”, and trust that the court reported did their job correctly. However, if you make any changes to the transcript, you must sign a statement narrating the revisions and provide a justification for your changes.
During questioning, your attorney may object to questions, although even if a question is objected to, you may still be required to answer it. However, even if you must answer a question after your attorney objects, it is crucial that the objection is recorded. This is because, after deposition, a judge can address objections and rule on them, if necessary.
Can a Deposition Be Used at Trial?
Any part of the deposition process can be used at trial against any person who was present or represented during the deposition. Even the deposition of a witness who is not a spouse or party to a divorce case can be used at trial. For example, if a witness cannot attend a trial or testify because of an illness, age, or imprisonment, their deposition may be used at trial.
In conclusion, you should note that depositions are not always a necessary part of the discovery phase. An attorney can help you determine if a deposition will add value to your case and can be an invaluable tool to assist you if you are ever called to participate in a deposition.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney at Joyce A. Julian
If you need more information on divorce depositions or legal representation, do not hesitate to contact one of our skilled Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656.