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Deposition During Custody Battle


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Taking a witnessís deposition during a custody battle can be an important form of discovery and investigation tactic. In fact, taking a witnessís deposition (oral statements of a witness under oath) during a custody battle is one of the most common forms of discovery. While taking a witnessís deposition during a custody battle can prove to be very helpful to your child custody case, it can be very costly, and not every custody case requires it.

In a custody battle, the parties have the right to conduct formal discovery methods to learn more about the custody case. Document demands, interrogatories (written questions), and depositions (oral statements of a witness under oath) are all common forms of discovery.

Because a deposition is conducted such that the deposed party's (witness) oral statements are taken under oath, it allows the examiner to learn what the witness knows and have the witnessís testimony preserved for trial. This allows the examiner to determine which witnesses will be favorable or damaging to his/her custody case and lock each witness into one story so they cannot deviate from it at trial. A deposition can be helpful to attorneys because it allows him/her to properly prepare cross examination questions prior to the custody hearing. Once the custody trial begins, there should be no surprises as both parties should know in advance who all of the witnesses will be and what each will be saying during his/her testimony.

A deposition usually takes place at an attorney's office rather than at the family courthouse. A court reporter will be present preserving the entire deposition process word-for-word. The attorney will ask the witness, or deposed party, a series of questions about facts related to the custody case. The rules allow some latitude in the areas that the attorney can inquire into and the witness must answer all valid questions under oath. The witness should listen to the questions carefully and be precise in his or her answers.

Remember, because a deposition is taken under oath, there are consequences for false statements made under oath. While taking a witness's deposition during a custody battle can be an important form of discovery, not every custody case necessitates taking depositions. The facts and issues of the custody case should determine if depositions are worth pursuing.

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© 2008 Child Custody Coach

Child Custody Coach supplies information, written materials, online materials, and coaching services to parents in the field of child custody, namely, divorce, child custody and visitation, divorce, child custody evaluations, parenting, and all child custody related issues. Custody Match is an online consumer and family law attorney matching service to help consumers find the right family law attorney, divorce lawyer, or child custody attorney in their area.

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Steven Carlson, The Custody Coach®
Child Custody Coach
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