The taking of depositions in divorce cases are not as common as one would think. This is largely due to the expense that they can incur on the party and that in most cases they are not really required. Yet, depositions can be an important part of divorce cases.
Are they helpful?
Yes, the success and failure of depositions depends on the lawyers taking part in it. An experienced and prepared lawyer has the ability to use this occasion to obtain useful information and determine the credibility of witnesses. In other cases, however, some divorce lawyers can use these occasions to waste time and churn out money from their clients, by asking irrelevant questions.
Deposition notice and objections
There are party depositions and third party witness depositions. A third party witness is a person that is not one of the actual parties to the case, but might be a relevant witness, and must be served with a formal subpoena for their deposition. Party depositions are usually called for by a formal notice from one spouse’s lawyer to the other. Typically the party calling the deposition can ask the other party to produce evidences on certain claims, the party will need to provide that evidence or file objections to the request.
As stated above, a subpoena will be issued by the court. This subpoena will highlight what the witness needs to do, it could usually ask them to produce evidences of any claims they have made in the divorce case.
What to expect during a divorce deposition
If you have requested the deposition, it will be your lawyer that will be asking the questions from the other party or the witness. Typically one needs to be present during this time by their lawyer to keep an eye on proceedings. You can help them judge whether your spouse is lying or not.
On the other hand, if you have been called in for a deposition, you should know that you will have to sit back and answer a number of questions thrown your way. There are often breaks in depositions such as ones for lunch, etc. A court reporter is also present in the depositions which could either take place in the lawyer’s office or a conference room. The person giving the depositions is made to swear that one oath that they are telling the truth.
Rules of Divorce Depositions
Orange County divorce depositions are usually governed by a set of rules. These rules will typically need to be followed by the parties involved. They are:
- The truth must be told in a deposition and failure to do so could result in charges of felony
- Answering a question is accepting that you understood it, if you are unable to understand a question say it
- Wait for the question to come before answering
- Avoid talking when the other person is talking and breaking into conversations
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.