What Is The Purpose Of A Deposition During A Divorce?
The divorce process can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t understand the legal procedures involved . Usually, when a Florida divorce is initiated, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed. After a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the spouse on whom the petition is served composes and files an answer. In Florida, a respondent has twenty days to answer after being served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Often, the answer will include a counter-petition. If a respondent’s answer includes a counter-petition, the initial petitioner is required to file a response within twenty days. When all this is done, it is usually time to move to the discovery phase.
The discovery stage is one of the most crucial steps in the divorce process. The discovery stage is that phase during the divorce process in which each party obtains evidence and information from the other party. During the discovery stage, parties to a divorce are allowed to request testimony, documents, and other evidence that they require to support their arguments from each other. Generally, the main goal of divorce discovery is to ensure that both parties have enough information that will allow them to better negotiate a fair divorce settlement. How long the discovery phase lasts depends on the complexity of the divorce case and the level of conflict between the parties involved. In Florida, depositions are sometimes used during the discovery stage.
What Is a Deposition?
In divorce, a deposition involves an individual giving testimony under oath about divorce-related matters in the presence of all parties to the divorce, their legal representatives, and a court reporter. Depositions usually take place in conference rooms or at an attorney’s office. Often, the subjects of depositions are the divorcing parties themselves and the questions asked during a deposition are generally prepared by the parties’ attorneys. In most cases, attorneys will prepare a list of questions specifically structured to address matters that are being disputed. The role of the court reporter is to document everything being said.
When answering questions during a deposition, you must pick your words carefully. First, all your responses must be verbal, and you should avoid slang words like “nope” and “yeah.” Secondly, if you cannot answer a particular question accurately, the last thing you want to do is guess your answer. Since you are testifying under oath, your words can be used against you even though a deposition is essentially an informal meeting. Therefore, instead of guessing the answer to a question, tell the deposing attorney, “I don’t know,” if you genuinely don’t know the answer to the question asked. If the other party tries to pressure you into answering a question, remain calm and avoid guessing. It is also crucial for you to avoid changing your answers during a deposition, as changing a response will most likely be brought out in trial should your divorce case go to trial. You should also be aware that being untruthful during a deposition I never advisable and have serious potential consequences to the outcome of your divorce. It is always wise to take the time prepare in advance with the attorney that is handling your divorce in order to ensure the best possible outcome, especially if this will be the first time you sit for a deposition.
Speak With an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney
A deposition can play a huge role in the outcome of a divorce case. Therefore, you must retain an experienced divorce attorney who can ensure that your deposition is conducted properly. To learn more about how a dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney can help with your divorce case, call Joyce A. Julian, P.A., at 954-467-6656 today.