Florida Divorce And Paternity Cases – Depositions: What Are They & When Are They Used?


A deposition is a question-and-answer session between an attorney and an opposing party or witness in a case, where the party or witness is placed under oath and sworn to answer each questions truthfully. Depositions can be used in any case, whether criminal or civil.

For divorce or paternity cases these are several things to remember about depositions.  But first, here is the one that should stand out apart from the others:  No One Should Attend a Deposition without Preparing For It!

Now that the truly number #1 thing to remember is out of the way, here are other important points to keep in mind (in no particular order):

1.  They are usually used in contested or litigated divorce or paternity cases. They are not used in cases that the parties are in agreement—that is, not used in an uncontested divorce or paternity action unless the “negotiations” fall apart and people decide to litigate.

2.  Depositions are a discovery tool: we use them find out information about anything and every thing in an open case.

3.  Anybody can be deposed: a party in the case, a witness who may have information about a party, thing or issue in the case.

4.  The deposition is recorded; that is there is a court reporter taking down the questions and answers, all of which may be transcribed and may be used in the case for which it is taken.  Sometimes a deposition testimony may be used in any other case where the information obtained may be important.

5.  They are expensive. There is the cost of the court reporter who will record the questions and the answers; there is a cost for transcribing the entire deposition on paper.  If the person whose deposition is being taken does not speak English, there will be the cost of a translator.  And of course, there is the hourly rate of the attorney taking the deposition and of the attorney representing the party or witness.

6.  Attendance at a deposition can be compelled. That is, if you have been given notice (or subpoenaed) for deposition, not showing up can get you into trouble with the court, and an attorney should be consulted before ignoring a deposition.

© 2010 Vivian Rodriguez

Vivian Rodriguez is a divorce and paternity attorney in Miami, Florida. For articles about Florida divorce and paternity, visit the Articles about Florida Divorce & Paternity page at VivianCRodriguez.Com.


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