The Maggio Law Firm Offers Advice on Preparing for a Deposition in a California Divorce

Being asked to sit for a deposition in a divorce may seem a bit intimidating at first. Deponents will find themselves a lot more relaxed and in control if they know what to expect during the process.

At a divorce deposition, the deponent will be giving testimony under oath. He or she will be asked detailed questions about the case and answers will be recorded by a court reporter. The record of this process will be used to form a deposition transcript that will be sent to attorneys on both sides. In addition, a copy will be sent to the court for the judge to review at time of hearing or trial.

“It is important to remember that portions of depositions may be read aloud in court, especially if the opposing attorney is trying to demonstrate that there are discrepancies between your deposition and your testimony in court. Due to this, you’ll need to make sure you answer questions carefully and honestly,” noted Maggio.

Before being deposed, a deponent needs to review the case with his or her divorce attorney. This includes a careful review of any complaint, petition or affidavit that has been submitted to the court as part of the case. This also includes the original pleadings and any affidavits submitted as part of any motion. In addition, you will want to review any responses that the party has made as part of discovery. In a divorce proceeding, a party may have answered interrogatory questions by providing notarized responses to the opposing attorney. Finally, the deponent will want to review any financial documents such as paystubs, tax returns, or lists of monthly expenses that have been provided to the court or to the opposing counsel. The opposing attorney will generally question each item that appears on a party’s list of monthly expenses to determine if the claimed expenses are legitimate expenses and to understand how these expenses were determined.

“The deposition process does not need to be difficult for deponents in divorce cases. A careful review of all documentation involved in the case and a discussion with your divorce attorney can make the process go much more smoothly. If a deponent is familiar with the facts of the case, he or she will be able to answer questions without difficulty,” stated Maggio.

During a divorce deposition, the deponent has three main responsibilities: to listen carefully, to understand what is being asked, and to answer each question honestly and carefully. Deponents will answer the questions a lot more easily and confidently if they don’t succumb to pressure and take their time with each question.

“Remember that while you must tell the truth during a deposition, you will not be expected to have the answer to every question that is asked of you. In addition, you will not be expected to know all the facts of the case. You’ll only be expected to answer each question to the best of your ability,” noted Maggio.

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