During the process of divorce, there are bound to be disputes that arise. If the spouses are not able to arrive at an agreement, then they will have to attend court and have a judge decide the resolution. For spouses who want to avoid divorce court altogether, attending a deposition with a court-reporter, mediator, and an attorney can be a useful alternative. Here are some tips to getting through a successful divorce deposition with minimal stress, anxiety, and confusion:
#1 Always Tell The Truth
This may be obvious, but it is important to always tell the truth when answering questions asked by your spouse’s attorney. When statements are being recorded, it can become fairly easy to get carried away with a false story and then get caught. If your spouse’s attorney suspects that you are lying, he or she may continue to ask questions until you contradict yourself in some way. Lying under oath is strongly frowned upon. In fact, if you have to attend court, after all, a court judge may rule against you for not speaking the truth.
#2 Understand the Nature of the Question
If you do not understand a question being asked, you can state exactly that. Your spouse’s attorney can rephrase the question in a way that hopefully becomes more clear. Your attorney may remind you during the deposition that you are not under the obligation to answer a question that you don’t understand. Take your time listening to the entire question, and then responding when you have formulated an answer. There is no time limit for how quickly you have to provide an answer. It’s okay to take a minute to digest what is being asked of you before responding.
#3 Saying “You Don’t Know” Is a Reasonable Answer
Divorce depositions can be incredibly stressful. It can be difficult to face your spouse during this time, especially if there are strong emotions regarding the separation. Knowing that you are being questioned by your spouse’s attorney while under oath, can make matters even more intense. Remember, if you don’t know the answer to a question you can state that. You do not have to guess or speculate over something you do not know the answer to. Your attorney may suggest that you refrain from offering more information that what is directly being asked of you.
#4 Remain Calm
Worrying about how the deposition may go, is likely to only make you feel worse. You can meet with your attorney prior to the deposition, for advice and support about what to expect. You may also be nervous to talk in front of New York court reporters, out of fear that your words may be used against you at a later time. Your attorney is there to protect you from harsh interrogation on behalf of your spouse’s attorney. The best thing you can do is focus on being calm and focused on each question in the moment.
Thanks to Veritext for their insight into court reporting and depositions for divorce.