Discovery and Deposition in Child Custody Cases
Going through a divorce can be a long and emotionally taxing process. It can take a long time to get to a place where you are ready to file for divorce, especially when children are involved. Child custody cases can become contentious very quickly. It can be hard to come to custody agreements with an ex spouse around topics such as visitation and child support.
Components of Discovery
The discovery process is how the attorneys representing both you and your ex will gather information needed for mediation and court. In most situations, child custody is a component to the divorce proceedings. Because the negotiation at hand is regarding your most precious asset, child custody situations can become heated and challenging to navigate. During the discovery, your attorney will likely gather information about your child, including school and medical records.
In the event that there are people that the attorney needs to gather information from, it is likely that they will be required to participate in a deposition. A deposition can help an attorney, like skilled child custody attorneys in Arizona or your area, to efficiently gather information and evidence that can be used for child custody negotiations. Another common strategy is to evaluate if the person being deposed will be a strong witness for the case. It is important to note that all information given by the witness during the deposition can be used in court. When you are the one being deposed, it will be helpful to be as prepared as possible by:
- Thinking before you speak. It’s important to take your time when answering the questions. Be sure that you understand what they are asking before giving an answer. It can be tempting to take a guess if you are not sure. It’s better to not know the answer than to answer incorrectly.
- Only answer the questions you are directly asked. You never want to give up additional information to the opposing counsel.
- It’s okay to make a mistake. If you realize you have done so, be sure to correct yourself.
What Is a Court Reporter’s Role?
Court reporters are a commonly forgotten component in divorce/child custody proceedings. What many don’t realize is how utilizing a court reporter is essential as they are responsible for providing the transcripts needed from the deposition. Often court reporter’s are commonly overlooked but are a vital part to the discovery process as they are responsible for creating the transcript for all people that are deposed. This allows for witness testimony to be reviewed by the attorney or in court at a later date if needed.
Being prepared for your deposition will be important in enduring the process. Child custody cases can come with their fair share of stress and heartache, having a practiced attorney by your side throughout can aid in receiving the best possible outcome.
Thanks to our contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into discovery and depositions in child custody cases.