You’re don’t know what questions you will be asked at your upcoming divorce deposition, but you’re pretty sure your spouse will be trying to get as much of your income as they can. It’s important to be prepared when facing questions about how much you earn and what you have spent, so you should have a good grasp of the common figures in order to answer truthfully.
Questions About Income You May Be Asked at a Deposition
- Work income. In order to divide assets fairly, the deposing attorney will have to ask you questions about your annual income. This includes income from all of the years of your marriage, as well as your expected future income. You may be asked how your compensation is determined, how often you get raises and bonuses, and if you ever failed to tell your spouse about raises or bonuses. If you have an expense account, you may be asked about work transportation, entertainment, and meals charged on the account, and who else may have incurred expenses on a work account. You may also be asked if there has ever been income did that you did not declare on your taxes.
- Side business deals or investments. If you have plans to invest in a business or are currently negotiating a work contract, the deposing attorney may ask questions about how much you could potentially earn from the deal, to acquire a larger portion of your income for your spouse.
- Your spouse’s income. The deposing attorney will attempt to discover how much each spouse earned over the course of the marriage, but also establish a value for each spouse’s duties in the marriage. The spouse who has been employed longer does not necessarily get a larger portion of the income. For example, you may both have worked at the beginning of the marriage, but only one of you has worked since your children were born. Your spouse may also have supported you while you earned a degree or were out of work, and stayed home to raise the children, earning a “living” by becoming a caretaker.
- Insurance. You may have health, disability, and life insurance policies in one or both of your names. You will have to divide the insurance coverage equitably by buying a new policy or splitting the policies evenly between you and your children.
In order to be fully prepared for your deposition, you should meet with your attorney and ask what kinds of questions you may be asked—and when you should answer them. Your attorney cannot tell you what to say—as you must tell the truth if you choose to answer a question—but your attorney can object to questions on your behalf if the answers are not relevant to the outcome of the case. For more common questions about depositions, click the link on this page to read through our FREE e-book, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Divorce in Washington.