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Divorce and the dreaded deposition

It's obvious. The marriage isn't working anymore. Both spouses are unhappy and the children are living in an unhappy and unhealthy environment. For Michigan couples living in an unhappy marriage, divorce may be the best option. Once an individual has made the decision to divorce, often the most difficult work has already been done. That's not to say, however, that the divorce process is easy. It's important to note, however, that as long as an individual is prepared, the divorce process doesn't have to be scary or intimidating.

For many individuals going through a divorce, being deposed is one of the most anxiety-producing steps in the divorce process. While it can be intimidating to be under oath and questioned by an ex's attorney, it's important to remain calm and to answer all questions honestly.

In a divorce case, the deposition process provides an opportunity for opposing counsel to learn more about an individual as well as information that pertains to the divorce. Prior to a deposition, it's important to keep the following three things in mind.

1. Breathe. A deposition isn't an interrogation and shouldn't be approached in this manner by either party. An individual should take comfort knowing that his or her attorney will be present the entire time and that an attorney can provide advice on how to answer any questions that may be confusing, uncomfortable or difficult.

2. Listen. Oftentimes, an individual will focus on only the first part of an attorney's question and fail to hear the full question. An individual’s answer may therefore fail to address key issues and could potentially be used against them or paint them in a negative light.

3. Be honest. During a deposition, an individual is under oath. It's imperative, therefore to provide answers and information that he or she believes to be truthful. This means it's ok to simply reply "I don't know" when posed a question or to ask for more clarification.

When facing a deposition during the divorce process, it's normal and natural to be nervous. It's also, however, extremely important to remain calm, vigilant and honest during the questioning and answering process as matters related to an individual's finances and children may be at stake.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Top 5 Rules to Help You Through a Divorce Deposition," Stann Givens, May 23, 2014

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Divorce and the dreaded deposition | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC