What to Expect During Depositions in Your Texas Divorce
Going through a divorce often means being drawn into an unfamiliar world with its own vocabulary and customs. Depositions may feel like a foreign concept. These sworn statements are designed to gather testimony before trial. This helps each side formulate its arguments, determine what witnesses will say, and—where possible—undermine witness testimony based on what a witness said during depositions.
If your lawyer says you need to be deposed, there’s no need to be afraid. Depositions are rarely an adversarial process. Here’s what you need to know.
Don’t Expect Fireworks
In movies, witness testimony is full of fireworks, rife with hostility, and always a high stakes undertaking. In reality, there are unlikely to be any fireworks at your depositions. Indeed, good lawyers will get you to say things that harm your case without you even realizing it. Remain calm, and don’t try to play games. Just plan ahead so you know what to expect.
It’s tempting to lie, particularly about things that make you look bad. Resist the temptation. You’ll probably be caught, and when you are, you will have undermined your case. You don’t know what the other side’s argument will look like. Don’t try to guess with a lie.
Long answers are hard to follow. Long answers also make it more likely that you’ll reveal more than you should. Answer only the question asked. People love to talk about themselves, and lawyers prey upon this tendency in depositions. Keep quiet. You’re not there to provide your life story.
You shouldn’t go into depositions blind. A good attorney spends time preparing you for depositions, so that you understand your case, the other side’s perspective, and how best to answer tricky queries. This is one of many reasons you shouldn’t represent yourself! Deposition planning is almost as important as what you say in the deposition itself, so work with your lawyer until you feel comfortably prepared.
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