Depositions are part of the divorce discovery process in which both parties are able to gather testimonial evidence from witnesses. Each party may subpoena or notice whomever they believe has relevant information to the divorce process, such as the other party, experts who have rendered reports, or other third parties who may have knowledge about the case. The witness will be placed under oath by a court reporter and all testimony will be recorded and, in some cases, audio or videotaped. At some depositions the witness or party may also be required to bring specified documents and records. The deposing party can also bring documents to be marked as exhibits and can question the witness about these documents. The testimony elicited during the deposition is considered the same as testimony given in a courtroom and may be introduced in a motion or at trial. Most commonly, deposition testimony may be used to clarify information that is not easily gleaned from documents or to cross-examine and impeach a witness in the event his or her testimony at trial is different.
Michele E. D’Onofrio is a family law attorney practicing in Warren, New Jersey.