What Are Depositions As It Relates To Tennessee Family Court?

You’ve likely heard the term ‘deposition’ and ‘discovery’ on a television court drama or perhaps a friend or coworker you know who has been deposed. However, you may not be exactly clear as to what a deposition is as it relates to Family Court. If you’re in the process of separation or divorce you’re likely wondering if you will be required to participatedeposition tennessee divorce in a deposition and where will it be conducted? While depositions are a common part of the discovery process in many different kinds of court cases, they are not necessary in every Tennessee Family Court case.

What is Discovery?

If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement during settlement negotiations, the next phase of divorce is called discovery. Discovery typically begins with the filing of Interrogatories which simply are written questions that must be answered under oath. Also a part of the initial phase of discovery is a Request for Production of Documents requiring each spouse to provide certain documents. The other forms of discovery include depositions, subpoenas, and Requests for Admissions.

What are Depositions?

In a deposition, the attorney places a witness — who may or may not be a party to the case — under oath and asks questions that are relevant to the case. It is extremely important to note that testimony obtained at a deposition can be introduced later at trial to impeach a witness if he or she changes his or her story.

Who is present during a deposition?

At the majority of depositions, the only people present are the parties to the case, their lawyers, and a court reporter who transcribes everything that is said to make a record of the proceedings for the court. In certain cases, expert witnesses may attend the deposition to observe and/or to assist the attorney with covering certain complex subject matter.

What information is gathered during a deposition?

The topics covered in a deposition can include anything related to the case – finances, child custody and visitation, reasons for the dissolution of the marriage, or any other subject. Though they can sometimes get heated, most depositions start with basic general questions, including names, education, and employment history.

The specific areas covered and the order in which such questions are asked vary from attorney to attorney, as each lawyer has his or her unique strategy. The most important decision you can make is to seek experienced, competent counsel if your marriage is failing and headed for divorce. Contact Donna Wagner to schedule a consultation on your case and have your questions answered regarding the process of divorce, discovery, and depositions in the Tennessee court system.

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