What to Expect at a Divorce Deposition in North Carolina

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Nov 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

The discovery process in your North Carolina contested divorce gives your attorney the chance to gather facts and information to build the strongest case on your behalf. As part of this process, you may need to go through a deposition. A deposition is a statement made under oath, and it may be used as testimony later. Good preparation is crucial, and your North Carolina divorce attorney can prepare you so that you can give the strongest, most succinct, truthful answers during your deposition.

What to Expect at a Divorce Deposition in Raleigh NC

A deposition is usually held outside the courtroom in a conference room, an attorney's office, or other private location. Your attorney will be with you. All parties to your divorce may attend the deposition, including your spouse. After you are sworn in, the attorneys involved will ask you questions. A court reporter records your statement word-for-word and later uses the recording to produce a transcript. A deposition may be as short as 15 minutes or may take several days, depending on the complexity of the case.

How to Prepare for Your North Carolina Deposition

Your deposition is an important element of your divorce case. This is your opportunity to tell your version of events, so proper preparation is important. You want to give the best impression of yourself.

Before the deposition, meet with your attorney and review all documents relating to your divorce. These may include financial records, medical records, and statements made to law enforcement. If your spouse's attorney asks you questions about these documents during the deposition, the attorney will give you a chance to review them, but you should already be familiar with the contents.

Practice answering questions with your attorney. Remember to let the attorney finish asking the question before you answer, and really listen to the question. Because divorce is often a sensitive subject, some of these questions will be uncomfortable to answer. Your attorney will prepare you for these questions so you are not surprised by them at the deposition.

Best Practices

On the day of the deposition, stay focused and succinctly answer the question that was asked. While you should always answer honestly, providing too much information in an answer may inadvertently hurt your divorce case.

If you do not know or do not remember the answer, do not guess. "I don't know" or "I don't recall" are acceptable answers in these instances. Giving false answers, even unintentionally, may have criminal or civil consequences.

Because your testimony is recorded and later transcribed, always answer verbally. Head nodding or shrugging cannot be recorded. Avoid saying things like, "uh huh" or "um."

If you do not understand something, ask to speak with your attorney. You may consult with your attorney off the record.

Depositions are not as formal as court, but you should still dress appropriately in business casual attire.

Contact Jerkins Family Law in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you are considering a divorce in North Carolina, or if your spouse has already filed, contact Jerkins Family Law. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, our qualified attorneys can prepare the strongest divorce case on your behalf and guide you through any depositions as part of your case. See our dedicated Contested Divorce page for more information and contact us today.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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