When and Why You Should Consider Depositions in Divorce
Divorce is a trying time for any couple especially with some cases lasting even longer than a year from the time the case is filed. Between division of marital property, assets and debt allocation, in addition to child and spousal support awards, there are many legal actions and items that can be part of a divorce. Many Marylanders are not aware of the significant role that depositions can play in divorce proceedings. A deposition is an interview, or sworn testimony, of a party or witness that can later be used in court during the case. Most depositions take place in the office of the attorney, in which they ask the opposing party or witnesses questions and inquire relevant information about the case.
Here, the qualified Maryland divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss the role of a deposition in divorce as well as when and why a deposition could be beneficial to your case.
What is a Deposition in a Divorce Proceeding?
In the state of Maryland, a deposition is a process where a witness or a party will be asked questions by an attorney under oath. These interviews generally take place in the office of an attorney, but can also take place over the phone, through video conference or otherwise. Depositions may be used as evidence in divorce court proceedings as they are taken under oath and recorded by an officer of the court. Deposition questions will surround issues pertaining to your case including reasons for divorce, alimony, child support, custody, assets, employment, alcohol or drug usage, social media and more. Depositions do not only occur between spouses, but may also be taken of other people with information relevant to the case, such as neighbors, employers or other key witnesses. Attorneys may also take advantage of this time to request access and obtain important documents from third parties which may be crucial to your case.
When a Deposition May Be Helpful
Depositions can be helpful in arguably any divorce case, but can be most helpful when one spouse may believe the other has something to hide. Depositions provide both the client and their attorney with the ability to ask key questions before the trial even begins and gain a better understanding of the party’s anticipated testimony, all while the other spouse is under oath. All answers provided during a deposition are recorded and, therefore, both spouses are bound to the answers they provide. Depositions can provide the attorney with crucial information to help prepare for the trial or even begin the process of facilitating a divorce agreement.
Potential Benefits of a Deposition in Divorce
Not only are depositions beneficial to help prepare for a case ahead of time, but they can also be provided as evidence against a witness or spouse’s testimony in court. Since the deposition is taken under oath, it may be introduced in court to argue that the witness or spouse is lying, overstating, or biased in the case, based on their previous testimony. The deposition grants attorneys with the opportunity to watch and study how the witness or opposing party will speak, behave, and react once the trial actually begins. Additionally, depositions can provide the attorney with valuable information to help prepare for the trial, aid in the settlement process, and improve your position to yield a positive outcome in the case.
Seek the Assistance of a Divorce Attorney
Depositions can prove to be very beneficial to a client experiencing divorce, as well as their attorney. They help provide key information for negotiations and can even be used as evidence against the opposing party in court. However, as helpful as these testimonies may be, depositions can be expensive and time-consuming. Before considering a deposition as a necessity to your case, consult with a divorce attorney to help you navigate throughout the process. The experienced Maryland divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law understand that each divorce case is unique and may require different needs, and we take pride in our personalized services to help serve you and your family throughout this time. To learn more about the divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law and how our team can assist you, contact our Harford County office today.