When you are getting a divorce, you may be asked some very nasty divorce deposition questions by your spouse’s attorney. This is a formal questioning of the parties involved in the case. Answering these questions is very important for divorce decree and child custody.
I will discuss seven of the nastiest questions you may face during your deposition. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for it, and make sure that you are ready to answer any question that comes your way!
7 Nasty Divorce Deposition Questions You May Face
Going through a divorce is a stressful and emotional time. You may worry about what will happen to your kids, finances, and future. One of the most stressful parts of the process is the deposition.
A divorce deposition is a meeting that is held outside of court in which one party to the divorce gives testimony under oath. This testimony is then recorded and may be used in court if the case goes to trial
You may be asked many questions in the divorce disposition, but some of them could be nasty. Here are the lists of some Nasty divorce deposition questions you may face;
#1. Mental and physical health issues:
You may be asked about your mental and physical health. This could include questions about your mental state, any medications you are taking, and any history of substance abuse.
Mental and physical health issues are often at the forefront of a nasty divorce. Many people going through a divorce are under a lot of stress, which can affect their mental and physical health.
The lawyer of the opposition party will try to paint a picture of you as an unstable person who cannot take care of your children or yourself. They may also try to use any mental health issues against you in the divorce proceedings. If they can prove you are mentally ill, you may lose the child custody
To prepare for this line of questioning, you must be honest about your mental and physical health. You should also be prepared to discuss your medications. If you have a history of substance abuse, you should be prepared to discuss your recovery and how it has impacted your life.
Remember that you do not have to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable. If you feel like the questions are getting too personal or are not relevant to the case, you can ask for a break or ask to speak to your lawyer.
#2. Domestic violence:
If there is any history of domestic violence in your relationship, you can expect to be asked about it during the deposition. This could include questions about any incidents of violence, whether you called the police, and what happened after the incident.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that can majorly impact a divorce case, especially for the decision of child custody. The lawyer will try to use any history of domestic violence against you to prove that you are not a fit parent.
#3. Educational background:
An opposition lawyer may ask about your educational background to catch you off guard or paint you negatively. They may also try to use this information to discredit you in front of the judge.
Judges will often consider both parents’ educational backgrounds when deciding on child custody. The lawyer may use your lack of education against you to prove that you are not as capable as the other parent.
However, you can be prepared for these types of questions by knowing what to expect and how to respond. With a little preparation, you can avoid giving the opposition lawyer any ammunition they can use against you.
#4. Other criminal conduct:
The opposition lawyer will check your criminal records. They will try to use anything they find against you to prove that you are not a fit parent or that you are incapable of taking care of your children.
One of the main reasons that the opposing lawyer will try to ask nasty questions about your criminal conduct is to try and discredit you in front of the judge. They may try to paint a picture of you as an unstable person who is not fit to take care of your children or yourself.
If they can prove that you have a history of criminal conduct, it may be difficult for you to win custody of your children. The opposition lawyer will likely try to use any criminal convictions against you to get a favorable ruling from the judge.
#5. Living condition:
It may seem irrelevant, but the lawyer will want to know about your current living situation. Because if you do not have a stable home, it may be difficult for you to take care of your children.
If the questions reveal that the parent lives in a chaotic or unsafe environment, it could sway the judge’s decision in favour of the other parent. This can be especially damaging if the parent is already at a disadvantage in the custody battle.
If you are facing divorce and think your spouse may try to use this tactic against you, speak with a divorce attorney who can help you protect your rights and interests.
Keep and show the documents and proof about your living condition and explain to the court how reasonably you will arrange the living condition for the child.
#6. Specific events and dates:
If there are any relevant circumstances surrounding the divorce that may affect how assets are split, or custody is awarded, the opposition lawyer may try to ask questions about specific events and dates. This could include anything from the divorce filing date to when assets were acquired.
If the lawyer can prove that certain assets were acquired during the marriage, it could significantly impact how those assets are divided in the divorce. This is why it’s important to be prepared for questions about specific events and dates.
Be sure to bring them up during the deposition so that they will be part of the official record for the judge.
#7. Recreational or dangerous activities:
The lawyer may try to ask questions about any recreational or dangerous activities that you participate in.
For example, if you enjoy skiing or hiking, the lawyer may try to use this against you by claiming that you are putting yourself at risk of injury. They may also try to use this information to prove that you cannot care for your children if something happens to you.
If the questions reveal any potentially harmful activities, it could hurt your custody case. Be prepared to answer these questions by planning how you will still be able to participate in your favourite activities while still taking care of your children.
#8. Marital financial information:
The divorce process can be both emotionally and financially draining. Both parties want to ensure they get their fair share when dividing up assets and debts.
One way to ensure this is by fully disclosing all financial information. This includes things like bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. However, some people try to hide assets or income to keep more of the assets for themselves.
This is why opposition lawyers will try to ask nasty questions about your marital finances. They want to ensure that you are truthful about your finances and not hiding anything.
Evan Schein discussed to guide to depositions in divorce cases in the below video. I hope this will help you:
FAQs on Nasty Divorce Deposition Questions
What questions can’t be asked during a divorce disposition?
Below are seven questions that can’t be asked during a divorce disposition:
- Pregnancy Status
- Religious Affiliation
- Sexual Orientation
- Past Marriages/Relationships
- Financial Information
- Political Affiliation
Questions related to those topics might be needed and asked in the divorce hearing but not during the deposition.
How to prepare for a divorce deposition?
Some tips for preparing for a divorce deposition include: reviewing documents related to the case, meeting with an attorney beforehand to discuss what to expect, and practicing answers to potential questions.
Be honest when testifying, as lying during a deposition can have serious legal repercussions. Following these tips can help ensure that your divorce deposition goes smoothly.
How to handle a tough deposition question?
When you’re on the stand, you might be asked a tough question that trips you up. If this happens, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm.
You can buy yourself some time by saying something like, “Can you please repeat the question?” or “Could you clarify what you’re asking?”
Once you’ve bought yourself some time, try to think of the best answer to the question. If you’re still struggling, you can always ask for a break or ask to speak to your lawyer.
No matter what, maintain your composure and not get too flustered. After all, the more calm and collected you appear, the more credible you will be.
Can you refuse to answer questions in a deposition?
In general, you cannot refuse to answer questions in a deposition unless the law prohibits the question or topic of the question.
You can’t refuse to answer a question just because you don’t want to or because the answer might be incriminating. If you refuse to answer, the other lawyer may ask the judge to hold you in contempt of court, which could result in a fine or jail time.
If you’re unsure whether you should answer a question, it’s best to avoid caution and consult with your lawyer beforehand.
Who can ask questions at a deposition?
The attorney for the opposing party will typically be the one asking questions at a deposition. However, in some cases, pro se litigants (individuals representing themselves) may also be allowed to ask questions.
A divorce disposition session can be difficult and emotional, especially if the other party asks nasty questions. But, if you are prepared for the questions that may come up during the deposition, you can help protect your rights and interests.
Be sure to speak with a divorce attorney who can help you understand what to expect and how to best prepare for your deposition.