Washington residents going through a divorce may have to give a deposition as part of the process. High asset divorces where much is at stake for the parties typically involve depositions, and often those involving custody disputes do also.
Your deposition will likely take place in your attorney's office conference room, at the court reporter's office or another location agreed upon by the parties. Your lawyer will be present while you answer opposing counsel's questions truthfully under oath. Below are a few tips to help you get through your deposition while making a favorable impression on the court.
The most important thing to remember when being deposed is to remain calm. Take a few calming breaths before it begins and don't rush your answers. Have a glass of water handy to sip from if you need a moment to compose yourself. Don't allow the other attorney to goad you to anger with a line of provocative questions. Your attorney can buffer you from any abusive tactics.
Listen to each question fully. This seems so simple, and it's so important. Wait until the lawyer is through speaking before answering and weigh your truthful answer carefully. Never volunteer more than what is asked. If "yes" or "no" will suffice, go with that.
Understand what is being asked before answering. Never answer a vague question that could be interpreted several different ways. Ask politely for clarification by saying, "I don't understand the question."
Always be truthful. Perjury is a serious charge that carries jail time, so don't run afoul of this by lying under oath. Share ahead of time with your attorney any unflattering or damaging information the other side may bring up during the deposition so the two of you can devise a strategy for explaining the circumstances and mitigating the damage.
Lastly, remember that "I don't know" and "I don't recall" are legitimate answers to questions as long as you are telling the truth. Opposing counsel may try to badger you with a barrage of similar questions, but remain calm and reiterate your two answers whenever applicable.
Your attorney is a good source of advice and counsel when preparing to give your deposition.