Spouses Deposition

Hi All,

I'm new and need some help.

I have a deposition coming up before months end in which my lawyer will depose stbxs.

Lawyer wants me to come up with a bunch of questions to ask as well. I don't know where to start.

I asked lawyer if the answers couldn't be verified, is it worth the time, emotions involved on me and funds of which are very short to do this.

lawyer thinks it is necessary.

A few subjects to be covered... large amounts of money is unaccounted for by spouse. The house was forclosed upon in mid fall of last year. He tried to do this in '07 but I found out in time too save it but couldn't this time because of the divorce being involved. he didn't pay mortgage for 1 year before the auction but won't say anything about the monies not paid except that he "paid the bills" No he didn't and I can prove at least that. He is under court order to do so and still he is playing poor and I am waiting on a contempt date that may not matter at this point as thre trial is set for 2 months from now.
Spouse is in BIG trouble with IRS. He has liquidated most of the assets and there is no way for me to find out just how many there were/may still be. I Have to mention that he is a CPA with his license on hold and is a CFO of a large non-profit company.. He is very aware of his responsibilities and yet he refuses to do the right thing.

I have no equity to split, some vacation property that is liened but I may have to live in or I will be homeless.

i am disabled and he is fighting support saying he doesn't make enough due to tax levies(he makes over 100k)

He never paid bills on time racked up late charges, bounced check fees, sent out last minute payments on the day it was due and had to pay those fees. I offered to do the houshold budget many times but was either hit , told to shut up or he threatedned to kill himself if I kept asking.

The marriage is 30 years, I have never had no control over the finances, spouse was abusive and by his own admittence a pathological liar.

For those wondering how i could not have known about the taxes, I signed, he never filed or paid taxes and I didn't need to file due to being disabled but he signed my name and filed joint even though I told him I did not consent as I did not need to file.

I found out about the taxes when an IRS agent showed up at the home and made me aware. When I was filing joint, I signed the return but he never mailed it.. I have found boxes of paperwork from the IRS and DOR asking for the returns they never received. I didn't know i was supposed to follow him to the mailbox and make sure that he mailed them in.

he is taunting me with the fact that he would love to give me more to surivie on if only he didn't have all thiese tax debts.

So much more.. 30 years and I don't know hwo he is.

Would any of you be kind enough to share your experiences and help with some questions which may help at trial to let the Judge see what was done and that I truly had no idea all this was happening.

If there are any questions needed before answering, please ask.

I am a mess emotionally.. this has been going on for over 2 years since HE filed and he has only been giving temporary support since he walked out 3 months ago. he intends to argue that all support should stop so he can fix his tax problems.

I am so glad i found this site. I have no real friends and my children, though older are devestated by all the years of a dysfunctional family life.

i will not involve them but they are not even willing to put all of this aside and maintain a relationship.

I lost everything and if he gets away with all he has done, my spouse will have left me destitute.

thank you in advance.


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CKBlossom's picture
Jan 13, 2012

Good lord-this sounds like some of the same Sh*t my father aka sperm donor pulled on my mother. Here is some good information I found on the Modern Woman's Divorce Guide online:

Discovery Tools for Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Cases

by Helene L. Taylor, Esq.

Discovery Defined

Discovery is the legal process of obtaining important information during divorce, dissolution or legal separation. Spouses use it to gather information from each or from other third party sources like banks or employers. The formal discovery process begins once you and your husband initiate legal proceedings and it continues until you settle your case or reach the pre-trial discovery deadline, which usually occurs sixty days before the first day of trial. Documents and testimony that is obtained through discovery may be used to make informed settlement decisions or to prepare for trial. Discovery may also be used after divorce, dissolution or legal separation by former spouses to gather relevant information about ongoing issues like alimony, maintenance, spousal support and child support. It may also be used to obtain necessary information for post-divorce enforcement, modification or termination matters.

In discovery you are permitted to pursue any relevant information relevant that may be admissible at trial. This includes, but is not limited to, bank statements, pay stubs, mortgage applications, bonus reports, life insurance disclosures and property deeds.

The Four Discovery Tools

A wealth of information can be obtained during discovery and there are five discovery tools that are commonly used by lawyers and pro se litigants alike to gather records and testimony. These tools include Releases, Subpoenas, Requests, Interrogatories and Depositions.

Releases are legal documents that authorize third persons or organizations to release or produce documents and records to you, your husband, your lawyers or anyone other designated recipient. Releases are commonly used when spouses cannot find or do not have, necessary information such as bank statements or tax returns. Agencies such as the IRS have standardized forms like IRS form 4506T that may be used to request copies of tax returns on file. If yours is an amicable divorce and your husband is freely providing information, Releases are great tools that may be used to collect missing documents and records. If yours is contentious case, Releases can also be very useful, however you will probably need to ask a judge or commissioner to order your husband to sign the documents for your discovery purposes.

Subpoenas are legal documents that order a witness to appear or a custodian of records to produce information on a particular date and time. Subpoenas are usually served by a sheriff or process server well in advance of the deadline for the witnesses’ appearance or production of documents. Any person or entity that receives a Subpoena must comply unless a valid legal excuse exists. Failure to comply is punishable by law and may result in a contempt of court finding. Subpoenas are commonly used by one spouse to obtain information and testimony from a third party when his or her spouse refuses to sign a Release. The costs associated with preparing and serving Subpoenas can be reasonable unless the third party or entity charges significant fees for the production of information requested (i.e. a one dollar bank charge for every page produced plus a twenty-five dollar research fee.) Subpoenas should be issued during the initial stages of an adversarial divorce, dissolution or legal separation because a significant amount of time may be required for a third party or entity to produce the information or witness requested.

Requests are usually standardized formal written requests made by one spouse to the other for the production of relevant documents. Requests can be very lengthy and may require the production of documents dated before, during, and after the official end of marriage. The responding party’s production deadline is established by state law, however it is not uncommon for responses to be late due to delays caused by third parties like custodians of records at banks or employers, who maintain the requested documents. State law and local rules also establish the format and content of the responding party’s Response to Request for Production of Documents. A person may make several Requests during the discovery process in divorce, dissolution or legal separation proceedings as the need for more information arises. Documents sought may include, among others, financial, employment, school and medical records. (Use our Copy Cat Worksheet to identify documents you may wish to collect during discovery. The Copy Cat Worksheet is included in The Soul Centered Divorce, 7 Steps to Making Difficult Divorce Decisions with Confidence and Clarity)

Sample Requests:

You are requested to file within thirty (30) days a written response to request on the and to produce those documents for inspection and copying on May 1, 2008:
1.Bank statements, cancelled checks and check registers for Wells Fargo Bank checking account number ending in 6001 for the period beginning on May 1, 2005 and ending on January 31, 2008.
2.Credit card statements for Chase credit card number ending in 3861 for the period beginning on May 1, 2005 and ending on January 31, 2008.
3.Bonus reports prepared for you by your former employer John Doe, LLC for the period beginning on May 1, 2005 and ending on January 31, 2008.
4.Appraisals for the real property located at 1234 Cherry Lane obtained by you between May 1, 2005 and ending on January 31, 2008.
5.Loan applications prepared by you or on your behalf between May 1, 2005 and ending on January 31, 2008 for the purpose of obtain credit or credit approval for any reason from any lendor or creditor.

If yours is an uncontested case and your husband is freely providing requested information, formal Requests may not be necessary but nonetheless advisable because it is common for friendly divorces to turn sour. If yours is a contested case, Requests are usually the first formal discovery step taken in attempt to obtain necessary information. In the event you make a formal Request and your husband fails to comply, you can ask, and a court will usually order him to comply or potentially face contempt charges and fines.

Interrogatories are standardized formal written requests made by one spouse to the other for the production of truthful answers to the spouse’s relevant questions. Like Requests, Interrogatories can be very lengthy and may include questions that cover events and issues arising before, during, and after the official end of marriage. Deadlines for responding to Interrogatories are established by state law and a spouse must timely provide the requesting party with his or written answers that were made under oath and subject to penalty of perjury. State law and local rules also establish the format and content of the responding party’s Response to Request for Answers to Interrogatories. Interrogatory questions are usually open ended however they may also call for a “yes” or “no” answer.

Sample Interrogatory Questions:
1.What was the purpose of your June 15, 2006 trip to the Cayman Islands?”
2.Did you open a new bank account while you were in the Cayman Islands between June 15, 2006 and July 1, 2006?
3.If you answered “yes” to Interrogatory No. 2, how much money did you deposit into the new bank account?
4. If you answered “yes” to Interrogatory No. 2, what was the source of the funds that you deposited into the new bank account?

Interrogatories are useful discovery mechanisms that should be used in divorce, dissolution and separation cases if you have unanswered questions or you believe your husband is hiding something. In the event your husband fails to respond or provides insufficient answers to your Interrogatories, you may consider taking his deposition.

Depositions are sworn testimony taken under oath in the presence of a court reporter who records every question, answer and comment made by the deposition participants including but not limited to, a spouse, lawyer or expert. Videographers may also memorialize a deponent’s testimony using a video camera and audio equipment. Depositions are usually conducted in lawyers’ offices and can last a few hours or several days depending on the subject matter, participants’ temperaments and witnesses’ dispositions (i.e. uncooperative). Testimony given during a deposition may be used as evidence at trial to establish facts or challenge the credibility of a witness (i.e. prove that your husband is lying about his 2007 bonus).

Sample Deposition Questions:
1.Where were you on June 15, 2006?
2.What was the purpose of your June 15, 2006 trip to the Cayman Islands?
3.With whom did you travel?
4.Where did you stay?
5.Isn’t it true that you took a woman with you on your June 15, 2006 trip?
6.Isn’t it true that you purchased a diamond tennis bracelet while you were in the Cayman Islands on June 22, 2006?

It is common for husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, lay witnesses and expert witnesses to be deposed in adversarial divorces, dissolutions and separations. Depositions are expensive and are usually used as a discovery tool of last resort after Requests and Interrogatories, which are generally less expensive tools.

Choosing your Discovery Tools

The method and types of discovery useed in divorce, dissolution or legal separation depends on the facts and circumstances of a case. If your marriage was of short duration, did not involve the acquisition of any joint assets or debts, and you were fully aware of each other’s financial circumstances, you may not need to conduct any formal discovery. Releases and the informal exchange of information may be sufficient. If on the other hand you are a stay at home mom without any knowledge of your husband’s earnings or joint assets and debts, you probably need to conduct formal discovery before making any legally binding decisions in your case or proceeding to trial. If your husband is forthright and you are fairly confident that he is not hiding anything, Requests, Releases and Interrogatories may suffice. If you do not trust him because of his propensity for lying, you may need to use the arsenal of discovery tools available to you.

Hope you nail him good!


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Jan 13, 2012

Thank you CK for your very infromative answer.

My husband has not been honest in providing information from the start.

he paded his finacial statemnts to deny me support until he up and left. The lawyer I had at the time, made a deal with his lawyer that i would get a set temporary amount before I was even in the building.

Now i found out through a new lawyer I hired that he intends on trying to get away with giving me no support at all due to his large tax debts.

I am afraid that there will be no way to out his lies as there will be little time between the deposition and the trial.

i suggested some avenues for this lawyer to take to try and get infromation ready for his answers that I know he will lie about as he has been consistent about answers (lies) in the past.

Lawyer says no way so how can i prove what I know without the proof?
(This is a retorical question as it is up to my lawyer to get the neded info and she just refuses to go to it,)

Your Mom is lucky to still have you in her life. I lost everything because of this mess. I have two beaurtiful children that will not deal with the situation.

My husband is even trying to use my youngest (over age 20) as a witness against me.

His preferred method is to lie then go silent. We had the lights shut off due to his non payment of the bill and I came home to the notice on the door. In a 4 way meeting, he told me I was delusional. It never happened and we never lost over $200 worth of food. I luckily found the sticker they electric company left so I at least have proof that it did happen.

This is so mind boggling. He comes from a wealthy family who is paying his legal bills becsause they are glad he is finally (after 30 years) getting rid of me.

he is getting a large inheritance but denies it. i have no legal papers but several personal letters to that fact from his family and he is killing me by using his family's" wealth and power to crush my wife".

Given alimony reform in many states i don't know how i am going to make it. I can't survive on the little money I make on disability and even what he is paying isn't enough to rent an apartment.

many times, I wonder why I am even hanging on. he hasn't complied with even basic discovery, has contempted a court order to pay the bills, let the bank foreclose on my home and I will be homelesss very soon.

I am floored by his deprevity of my needs to survive.

There is divorce and then there is this. In any other branch of the law, he could be in huge trouble for putting me in this much harms way. i can't even stay in a shelter as it would make me so ill i would die according due to my many existing health problems to my doctor.

I have heard and seen others say and post it gets better.

All I can see is constant trips to court which I can't afford until there is nothing left of me to fight with.

i hope your Mom made out well against her psychopath. My oldest called his father "the Sperm Donor" but I feel that is even too nice a term given that he is not even acting like there is antything human at all about him

I pray but I don't think anyone is listening.

Take Care,

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