Tips to Giving Your Best Testimony in a Washington Divorce Deposition

You’re trying to read all the divorce deposition tips you can before your appointment with the attorney. You know that you should stay calm and respectful and to get plenty of rest—but you’re still worried about making a major mistake. Is there anything you absolutely shouldn’t do at a divorce deposition?

Seven Things NOT to Do at a Divorce Deposition

  • Do not make jokes – Many people make the mistake of giving lighthearted answers in order to diffuse the tension in the room. However, your joke may not translate well when the transcript is read back—and even if it is, it can make you look flippant or disrespectful.
  • Do not guess – Never attempt a guess at an answer. If you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know or you don’t remember. Also, what someone else told you is not necessarily the truth, so avoid giving answers you don’t know are true. Such as, “my sister was babysitting, and she said our son came home at 9:00.”
  • Do not give absolutes – If you say that you have never done something, but it later becomes clear that you did once, your honesty may be called into question. Avoid using “always” or “never” in your responses.
  • Do not rise to a challenge – If the other attorney is trying to upset you or is making snide remarks, do not respond. The attorney may be testing out how you will react in court, and see if you can be put off-balance in front of a judge. Staying calm even if he is attacking you will make him look aggressive and you look like the victim, which may help your case in court.
  • Do not offer additional information – It is the opposing attorney’s job to figure out which questions to ask you in order to benefit his client. Do not offer information that will help his case unless you are asked a direct question.
  • Don’t tell your story – It can be tempting to try to “put an end” to the discussion simply by giving a full statement of the events. Remember: a deposition is not a place to tell your version.

Need more information before you face the cameras? Click the link on this page to download a FREE copy our Washington women's guide to divorce, to fully prepare for your day in court.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
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