Divorce depositions in California are less common than you think. There are two reasons for that. First, depositions can get expensive. It’s not just lawyer’s fees but also the court reporter who often charges per page to create the transcript and charges for the original and certified copies. Second, divorce depositions are often unnecessary (or overkill) in cases that are not complex or do not have many contested issues and there are more cost-effective ways to get answers to questions such as interrogatories.
Are depositions in California divorces helpful? Yes, assuming the divorce lawyer taking it is experienced and prepared. We have seen lawyers waste so much time and money spinning their own wheels and wasting their client’s money (and that of their spouse) in depositions. They ask irrelevant questions, focus on issues that are of little consequence to the divorce or, when they finally get to an issue that matters, butcher the questions so very little valuable information is obtained.
Sometimes, it’s just a lack of experience in taking depositions. Other times, there is a more sinister motivation – churning a file to unnecessarily increase the attorney fees. We have also seen divorce depositions used to harass or intimidate.
So what can you expect in a divorce deposition in California? Let’s go through the basics. Nothing in this article is legal advice. Advice only comes through an in person consultation with and retention of an experienced family law attorney. [Read more…]