If you are in the middle of a divorce, it is highly likely that you will be called for deposition, especially if yours is a contested divorce. One area that concerns many spouses is child custody, time sharing, and visitation. The deposition is your chance to put on the record why you should get visitation or custody (depending on what you are asking for), but being unprepared can derail your plans, no matter how good of a parent you may be.
The Custody Deposition
There is no such thing as a “child custody deposition.” Your deposition will cover every area that is contested in your divorce, including alimony, division of property, and child support, along with any custody-related questions. That means that you need to be prepared for questions related to each of these areas.
When it comes to custody, you may be wondering what kind of questions they will ask you and how you can best prepare. Of course, every case is different and your case may have its own unique issues that your divorce or child custody lawyer will discuss with you, but here are some general guidelines.
Know Everything About Your Child
This may seem obvious, but it is more difficult than it sounds. Even the best parents get busy and may not be up to speed on everything that is happening in their child’s life. If you are the parent of teenagers, they may naturally be hesitant to share details about their lives with you.
As a general rule, be prepared to answer questions such as:
- What is your child’s favorite and least favorite subject in school, and his or her favorite teachers?
- Does your child have special needs or learning accommodations for school?
- What is your child’s favorite sports to play or watch, or his or her favorite hobbies?
- What is the name of your child’s best friends, and, if they are old enough, boyfriends or girlfriends?
You should know every aspect of your child’s medical histories and medical conditions, including what medicines he or she takes and the name(s) of doctors.
Remember that you may have to do some research—for example, getting medical records, or having a conference with school administrators—so plan in advance.
Discussing Your Spouse
If you feel your spouse is unfit for the custody or visitation he or she is asking for, be prepared to present your arguments without seeming hostile, or overly negative. You may want to discuss with your attorney what complaints about your spouse are valid (“(s)he only has one bedroom in his/her apartment”), and what complaints may seem petty to a court (“(s)he lets the child eat dessert”).
Do not be combative or overly defensive to any negatives brought up about you by your spouse’s attorney, but be prepared to address them calmly yet forcefully.
Be prepared for your divorce and child custody case. Contact The Law Office of Agnes Rybar LLC for help and guidance in your family law case.