Depositions are of keen importance, whether you are the one being deposed, or your lawyer is deposing the opposing party. Depositions are essentially interviews lawyers can conduct of parties to a lawsuit. Only parties can be compelled to give depositions, but other people can be deposed if they agree.
Depositions in child custody and divorce cases are key. Why? Because of perjury. Perjury is hardly punished in family courts, and willing parties make full use of perjury by lying about facts and making false allegations.
- Lock-in: In child custody cases, you can use a deposition to “lock in’ an opposing parties testimony. In other words, once a party affirms or denies something during a deposition, that person will look like a liar if she says something different when testifying in court. Hopefully, your lawyer will be able to harm the other party’s credibility, and depositions can assist in that effort.s
- Preview:When you go to court, you don’t want any surprises in terms of what the other party will say. And, testimony given in family court can be quite “creative” in terms of its relationship to the truth. Therefore, depositions play a vital role in helping to figure out what the opposing party is going to say before it’s said it court. That way, your lawyer has time to strategize, prepare, and help fight any harmful statements the other party might make.
If you are looking for a family law attorney, he or she should give you some idea what preliminary actions he will take. If a deposition is not recommended, you might reconsider your choice of attorneys. Not deposing the other party is a major strategic blunder, as you give up the benefits noted above. If you think a deposition is not necessary because your custody or divorce will not be very bitter, I have one recommendation for you: get a lobotomy.
Do you want to go to court and be surprised when your Ex accusing you of domestic violence? Of drug use? This would be a bad situation, and you should decrease the probability it will happen by conducting a deposition.
You cannot afford the risk of wrongly assuming a deposition will be unnecessary. If it becomes necessary, and you don’t have one, or you do one much later than you could have, your case could be irreparably hurt.
Depositions can cost several thousand dollars. While everyone’s circumstances are different, you should try not to let this cost dissuade you. Being involved in a law suit and not seeking the most strategically beneficial position is much more costly. If you don’t want to do what is necessary to achieve your goal, you should settle, or give up.
Aside from cost, you should also make sure you and your attorney are fully prepared for a deposition because you only get one shot. If you go to a deposition and the best questions are not asked, you cannot normally schedule another.
Therefore, you may want to take the following steps in preparing for a deposition:
- Know what is relevant: Child custody and divorce cases involve highly persona matters. People involved may tend to think that because information is meaningful to them, it is meaningful to the case. However, that is not always true. Therefore, you should discuss with your lawyer what information is relevant. Then, you can help your lawyer address relevant facts in the deposition.
- Create a deposition prep sheet: This involves creating a list of the pertinent facts, and predicting the other party’s responses to your attorney’s questions.
- Discuss with your lawyer: You should discuss a deposition with your attorney. If you attorney is unwilling to discuss the deposition with you, then consider hiring a different attorney. You know more about the other party than the attorney, and that valuable information should be fully utilized.
- Updating: If you develop new information after discussing the deposition with your attorney, update the attorney on what you’ve come up with.
Nothing said in this article is written in stone. Be ready to adapt, and hire a lawyer your trust. A good lawyer will help you address the ideas listed in this article.