Tips on Giving a Deposition for a Divorce

By Heather Frances J.D.

Divorce cases can be much like other civil lawsuits, and depositions can be used in divorces like they are in other cases. A deposition is testimony given before trial, usually recorded in a transcript or by video. Lawyers from both sides get to ask questions to gather evidence to help prepare for trial, and answers are given under oath. Thus, depositions can be as important as testimony given in the courtroom.

Documents and Disclosure

Documents can help you testify by reminding you of facts when you get nervous or can't remember certain details. Thus, you may be tempted to bring all of your documentary evidence with you to your deposition. However, if you have a lawyer, she may not want the other side to have access to everything you have, so you may want to discuss with your lawyer beforehand what you want to bring. While testifying, you generally should not disclose any of your lawyer's strategies in your divorce or anything your lawyer has told you. This can compromise your case, and even the court cannot force you to disclose what you discuss with your lawyer.


Dressing appropriately can make you more credible and feel more confident when testifying. Conservative, professional dress is typically appropriate for a deposition. In addition to looking polished, you must maintain an agreeable, calm demeanor whenever possible. You cannot win your case in a deposition, but being difficult or getting angry can hurt your case. Such behavior can make you look like you have something to hide. If you lose your temper, you may also say something you don't really mean.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More


Since you are under oath throughout a deposition, you must answer each question truthfully. However, your lawyer will likely advise you to keep your answers short, answering with a simple yes or no when possible. You may want to avoid volunteering information that isn't asked since such extra information can be misused or open a can of worms you didn't intend to open. Your attorney can help you stay on track by objecting to questions that are inappropriate. Generally, you should stop talking as soon as your attorney objects to a question. After an objection, your attorney may allow you to continue answering or ask the other side to move on to other questions.

Ask Questions If Needed

If you do not understand a question, your answer may be inaccurate or misleading. However, you can ask the person questioning you to clarify the question or rephrase it another way to be sure you understand what is being asked. Before you answer a question, take time to think about your answer. If your deposition is being videotaped, excessive delays can make it look like you have something to hide, but it is important to make sure you are saying exactly what you mean.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Answer Divorce Interrogatories


Related articles

Divorce Discovery Process

In between filing for divorce and the final trial, divorcing couples may use discovery to get as much information as possible to help with their case. If issues are up for dispute at the time of trial, each spouse must present evidence to convince the judge to rule in their favor in terms of custody, alimony and related issues. The discovery process helps each spouse accumulate the evidence he or she needs.

Subpoenaing Witnesses for a Divorce Trial

A successful divorce trial is the result of gathering and documenting information. If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement and a trial becomes inevitable, you will probably want to seek the assistance of an attorney, rather than proceed on your own. Your attorney will first attempt to identify facts that will support your case through discovery methods. These might include issuing interrogatories, which are written questions your spouse must answer under oath. Then your attorney must bring these facts to the attention of the judge. One way to accomplish the latter is to subpoena the person who holds the information, legally obligating them to give testimony.

What to Expect in Your Final Divorce Hearing on Your Trial Day in South Carolina

South Carolina encourages spouses to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce, such as property division and child custody, but you and your spouse may not be able to mutually agree on all terms. If your settlement negotiations fail, it will be up to the court to make these decisions for you based on evidence it receives from your filed paperwork and during the divorce trial. The court cannot consider evidence unless it’s properly presented, so it is important to understand the trial process.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Give a Testimony at a Divorce Hearing

A courtroom is an intimidating place under the best of circumstances. If your divorce case goes to trial, it can be a ...

What Not to Say When Tesifying in Child Custody

Testifying can be terrifying when everything hangs in the balance and so much depends on your words. If you're ...

Can Documents Obtained by a Private Investigator Be Requested as a Discovery in a Divorce Case?

If you suspect that your soon-to-be ex will go to any and all lengths to dig up information to influence your divorce ...

Penalties For Divorce Perjury in Georgia

Intentionally lying under oath is a crime, and the penalties for divorce perjury are the same as the penalties for any ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED