Taking on a divorce can be one of the biggest and most stressful events of a person’s life. Often adding to that stress, when applicable, is the deposition. Unless you know of an individual who has had to give one, or you have been a deposed in the past, you most likely aren’t familiar with the process. As with nearly everything in life, the better you understand the deposition process, and the more you prepare for it, the less intimidating it will be.
“A deposition is simply a discovery technique. When you get into a divorce setting there is often a lot of information you can’t get through answers to interrogatories or requests for copies of documents or requests for admission, which are other discovery tools. This additional information may be useful for settlement or at trial,” attorney Fred Zundel of Idaho Legal Aid Services
According to Zundel, the deposition provides a means to obtain sworn testimony from the other party or other potential witnesses “You tend to see depositions in somewhat complex cases where people have some money to bankroll them,” Zundel said. “It can be an effective discovery tool.” New Jersey-based family law attorney Mark S. Guralnick
said a deposition can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 depending on the length of the statement. The expense depends heavily on how much both your attorney and the stenographer charge for participating in the deposition. “Of course you are paying for your lawyer’s time to sit there, his time for preparing for the deposition, reading the deposition and the court reporter’s time,” Guralnick said.
According to Heidi Culbertson, director of client development at The Harris Law Firm
in Denver, Colo., each side of the divorce party has the right to take depositions of the parties related to the lawsuit and witnesses. While the thought of giving sworn testimony tends to put some people on edge, Culbertson said there is nothing to fear when both parties are committed to telling the truth. In general, depositions occur at the office of one of the involved attorney’s, Culbertson said. WHY DEPOSITIONS ARE NEEDED
“Each case presents a peculiar portrait of the kinds of questions you want answered,” Guralnick said.