If all other negotiations fail and your
divorce appears to be headed for a litigated clash in court, there is a great
possibility that you must face a deposition. A deposition is testimony
given prior to trial, typically recorded in a transcript or video. Lawyers
from both sides are able to ask a series of questions in order to gather
evidence for trail. The answers are given under oath.
Remember, the purpose of a deposition is for the opposing counsel to obtain
information to be used
against you in court. They hope to discover any lies, omissions or inconsistencies
in your story so they can claim at trial that you are not a truthful individual,
rendering your testimony invalid, including the vital answers. It’s
imperative you provide reliable testimony, meaning you must exhibit honesty,
accurate memory and detailed accounts of the facts you will describe.
The following are tips to help you prepare for your deposition:
Always tell the truth. A discrepancy between deposition and trial testimony can be devastating
to your credibility and integrity.
Remain calm and amiable. No matter how hard you are pressed, don’t lose your temper because
that could be beneficial to the other side. Know that your own attorney
is on your side to object any inappropriate questions or actions by the
Listen to the question and understand it prior to answering. It is okay to ask the opposing attorney to repeat or rephrase the question
until you can provide an honest answer.
Pause and explain your answers clearly. Any “umm,” “uhh” and every audible response will
be recorded in your transcription, so any of these “thought”
words can make you sound as though you may be lying or don’t know
the answers. It is fine to pause until you can formulate an appropriate response.
Don’t attempt to explain or justify your answers. The statements you make should be facts, which doesn’t require any
explanation. Attempting to apologize or justify your responses could hinder
the authenticity of your own testimony.
If mistakes occur, admit them immediately. If at any moment during the deposition you realize you have provided
a wrong answer or have misspoken, make the correction as soon as the error
is recognized. Either inform the opposing attorney of the error or tell
your own lawyer.
Be careful of compound questions and questions beginning with words similar
to “is that all?” The opposing side is trying to freeze your testimony, so phrases such as
“to the best of my knowledge at the present time” is great response.
When in doubt, confer to your attorney. Your lawyer will be on your side throughout the entire process. If there
is anything that you are worried about, seek their advice.
For an experienced Daytona Beach divorce attorney,
contact Stepniak & Park today to
schedule your free consultation.