Writing a Child Custody Deposition

What is a Deposition?

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.

How to Write Deposition QuestionsHandling Family Law & Custody Depositions in Westlake Village

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.

Common Child Custody Deposition Questions

The following are a list of common questions a lawyer could ask you during a child custody deposition:

  1. Who is the primary caretaker?
  2. What was the father's involvement during prenatal care, birthing classes, and the birth?
  3. Describe a typical day in the life of each child?
  4. Who is responsible for school responsibilities? 
  5. Do you volunteer at your children's school?
  6. Which extracurricular activities do the children participate in?
  7. Are both you and your spouse involved in parent-teacher conferences and school events?
  8. Who helps the child with homework?
  9. How do you and your spouse discipline the children?
  10. Who decides the children's religious education?
  11. Who does the child turn to when hurt, sick, or sad? 
  12. How has a typical day fir you and your child changed since the divorce?

What is the Best Way to Answer a Question in a Deposition?

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, mediation, paternity and other family law issues.

Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff today at (805) 633-4999 or contact me online.

Related Posts
  • Does My Ex Need My Permission to Introduce a New Partner to Our Kids? Read More
  • Can I Modify a Child Custody Order? Read More
  • Can I Move with My Children After a Divorce? Read More