What is a Deposition?

A meeting in a conference room

When going through a divorce there can be a great deal of evidence and discovery gathered and exchanged between the parties. The discovery process involves the exchange of information between parties to gather a full and accurate picture of the financial status as well as any other pertinent details to the divorce case. One of these tactics employed by any attorney is a deposition. If you are going through a divorce and have questions regarding your attendance at a deposition, contact your Florida Divorce Attorney, they will be able to explain in detail the process and provide you tactics to place you at ease during this difficult time.  

In general, a deposition is an oral, sworn, and recorded statement. In way it is similar to a testimony before a judge. However, the only parties in a deposition are you, your attorney, your spouse, their attorney and a court reporter. Although, less formal than a judicial proceeding, the weight of your statements during this process is significant and can be used against you later before the court.

A main purpose to a deposition is to gather, in depth detail regarding points of the case. For instance, if during the exchange of mandatory disclosure your Florida Divorce Attorney noticed certain discrepancies in financial documents, they may want to ask your spouse about these inconsistencies in a formal and documented forum. This preserves the testimony and forces a party to provide a response without a waiting period, in contrast to documents such as Request for Admissions. Having a person answer on the spot regarding, specific details that they may be intentionally hiding is crucial. Further, gathering more evidence may cause the other side to desire a settlement out of court if certain information is revealed during these deposition proceedings.

These depositions also allow your Florida Divorce Attorney to be fully prepared for a trial. They will have essentially already examined the witness and know their responses to the questions. This removes the surprise factor and allows your attorney to guide the testimony in a specific manner. Further, if a witness does change an answer to a question, your attorney will be able to present the documented transcript from the prior deposition as to show his inconsistency to the court.

Depositions are commonly informal, however; it is not uncommon to be anxious before a deposition. Therefore, we will provide you with as much information prior, to minimize any surprises or unknowns. The deposition will likely occur at a neutral location. For instance, the deposition could occur in the offices of the court reporter, or if negotiated between the parties, at the offices of one of the attorneys. You will be in a room with your attorney, your spouse, their attorney and the court reporter. In most cases, it will not just be a single party being deposed. Rather, both you and your spouse will be deposed by the respective attorneys during this time period. To begin, the court reporter will have you attest to the accuracy of your testimony to the best of your knowledge and questioning will then begin. Your spouse’s attorney may ask simple questions such as your education, career, your residence, and annual income and sources. However, they may also ask personal questions that may be pertinent to your case such as extramarital affairs, domestic violence, or your criminal history. It is important to be prepared and calm for any question that may arise. Consider your answer and take your time in responding, there is no time limit. Further, your Florida Divorce Attorney will be with you during this time. Your Attorney may object to questions; however, you are still required to answer each question truthfully.

A deposition can be a crucial part of your divorce case and it is necessary to have proper representation during this process. Contact your Florida Divorce Attorney today to discuss your specific case and if you way want to implement the discovery tactic of depositions in your case.

Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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