Dealing With Depositions in Illinois Divorces
In the weeks following the initial divorce filing, the parties will exchange information about their assets and income to determine how marital property is to be distributed and whether either side is entitled to spousal maintenance. If the couple had children, a temporary custody agreement might also be entered into at this point. Often, many disputes about property and child custody can be settled by negotiation, but if a case becomes especially contested, either party may decide that they need to take depositions to pursue their case.
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is testimony taken under oath, and your appearance is required if you receive notice that you are to be deposed. A court reporter creates a transcript of the deposition, but depositions are usually taken at an attorney’s office with no judge is present. Attorneys for both sides may ask questions during the deposition about the disputed issues relating to the divorce, or object to irrelevant questions. The general purpose of depositions in a divorce proceeding to uncover information of which the party taking the deposition was previously unaware. Anything said at the deposition may later be admitted into evidence before the court.
Questions Typically Asked at Illinois Divorce Depositions
Depositions can cover a wide range of information related to a divorce case. A deposition typically begins with general questions about the length of marriage and place of residence. Other issues that will likely come up include why the marriage ended, your current health and finances, and current job and salary. An attorney will no doubt ask many probing questions about anything that is being contested in the divorce. If there is a conflict about who will get a house, expect an attorney to ask many questions about what you have done to keep up the house and how you will pay for it on your own. If there is a child custody or parenting time issue, an attorney may ask many potentially embarrassing questions about your ability as a parent to strengthen the position of his or her own client.
In some ways, a deposition is as much about what is not said as it is about the actual testimony given. In addition to your given answers, an opposing attorney will look for the inconsistencies in your testimony and how you respond under pressure to a series of difficult questions. The other side will want to get an idea of how you will testify at an actual hearing. Because of the complexities of depositions, it is a good idea to obtain legal counsel before heading into one so that you are aware of the process and how to address questions that are likely to arise. You may not be required to answer every question that is asked, and your lawyer can help you develop a responsible deposition strategy.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
A divorce can be a long and stressful process, which is why it’s so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to guide you through the process and protect your rights. Contact our compassionate DuPage County family law attorneys today for a consultation.