Q & A: What is the process of depositions in Minnesota divorces?

A divorce deposition is a tool used during the discovery process. Discovery is where the parties exchange information. A divorce deposition is a meeting between the two parties in a divorce. There are two main purposes of a divorce deposition:

A divorce deposition is a tool used during the discovery process. Discovery is where the parties exchange information. A divorce deposition is a meeting between the two parties in a divorce. There are two main purposes to a divorce deposition:

  • To uncover relevant documents and information, and
  • To obtain statements that can be used as evidence.

The information gathered at depositions will form the basis of the analysis in the upcoming trial or hearings and may be the basis of many important decisions.

Generally, the people present at a divorce deposition include the spouses, the lawyers, a court reporter who will transcribe the deposition, and, in some instances, a guardian ad litem may be present. People requested to be at a deposition will usually receive a “Notice of Deposition” which formally requests their presence at the deposition.

There are many types of information exchanged at a deposition. The information exchanged depends upon the issues that will be raised during the divorce proceeding. Some types of information exchanged include:

  • General information: this may include information about the parties such as name, contact information, profession, education, and their relationship to the various parties.
  • Specific events and dates.
  • Witness information: witnesses can be thoroughly interviewed to obtain their name, identity, profession, and their role in the case. Expert witnesses can be deposed in order to verify their certification and abilities.
  • Information previously reviewed: the deponent may be asked whether they have spoken to anyone to prepare for the deposition. The deponent may also be asked whether he or she have previous knowledge of various events, persons, or dates.
  • Documents: the parties can request documents from the opposing party during a deposition. Documents previously exchanged are also frequently discussed during the depositions.

Questions asked during a deposition can range from very broad to very specific. A party never has to disclose confidential information when answering a deposition question, but it is best to answer all questions in a cooperative and forthcoming manner. Here are a few examples of questions asked during a deposition:

  • What is your name, age, and profession?
  • During your marriage, did your partner take care of the needs of your children?
  • Do you and your partner have any shared bank accounts or trusts?

Attorney’s play an important role during the deposition. They formulate a strategy and ask the questions of the deponent in order to uncover information that may be favorable for their client.

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