A deposition is the process by which each party conducts an investigation
to learn more about the case and build a strategy for how they conduct
themselves in court. In a child custody deposition, sworn testimony is
given by parents and witnesses in a child custody court case, conducted
in a courthouse or an attorney’s office. Simply put, your ex-spouse’s
lawyers asks you questions, and your attorney asks your spouse questions.
Good preparation and research is a crucial part of a successful case.
Below are a few pointers on writing a child custody deposition.
Writing Deposition Questions
1. Prepare an outline of the areas you wish to cover in your questioning
or your lawyer’s. Break it down into subject areas, such as finances, housing, work schedules,
abuse, child involvement, marital affairs and other relevant categories.
2. Develop specific and detailed questions. Your ex-spouse may find it more difficult to dodge questions that require
fact-based answers. Find out which questions your ex-spouse may fail, such as,
“What is the name of our son’s babysitter?” and include it in the deposition. Write your questions in a direct and
polite manner. Avoid being accusatory or rude.
Writing Deposition Answers
1. Answer your questions truthfully and as specifically as you can and
avoid guessing. You are under oath and a court reporter documents your every word. Stick
to facts without adding opinion or passing judgement. Avoid saying the
words “feel” or “think” and never guess. If you
are not sure of an answer, simply write “I don’t know.”
2. Keep your sentences short. Don’t tell long stories with exaggerated remarks. Keep your responses
short and sweet.
3. Refer to your child by their name. While the other lawyer may refer to your child as “the minor child,”
always refer to them by their name.
If you need help with your child custody deposition, please contact the
Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff to learn more. I am a
Westlake Village family lawyer and I can help you with divorce, domestic violence, medication, paternity
and other family law issues.
Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff today at (805) 633-4999 or
contact me online.