As you begin to prepare for your hearing, there are a few things that your lawyer will advise you to keep in mind prior testifying at trial, during a deposition or even during mediation.
Tips for Testifying
Don’t Volunteer Any Information Other Than What’s Asked
A lot of people genuinely want to be helpful, particularly in a legal or trial setting. However, whenever you’re involved in litigation, it is important to remember never to volunteer any information beyond what is asked of you. Why?
The answer is actually pretty simple–the more you keep talking, the bigger the hole you will likely find yourself in. Additionally, your divorce mediation lawyer will likely advise you to steer clear of providing excess explanations for your answers because those will surely lead to additional questioning.
Answer the Question That’s Asked of You
Quite often, witnesses tend to over-think their answers when testifying or they try to figure out why something has been asked. However, don’t attempt to “question the questions” or try to figure out what will be asked next. Simply respond to the question that is posed to you and allow your lawyer to handle everything else.
Do Not Offer Approximations or Guesses (Unless Asked)
When you testify, you should never provide approximations or guesses as a response to a question, unless you have been asked to do so. But if you can provide an “educated” guess to certain questions, make sure that you stress that you are guessing or approximating. For instance, if you’re asked how much cash you have in your savings account currently, and you’re not sure but you have a general idea, you should ensure that your answers include a statement like “I think” or “Approximately.”
Don’t Squabble With Counsel
For sure, it’s quite normal for you to want to persuade your spouse’s attorney that the statements you are making are the actual truth and your spouse’s statements are not. However, you will only stir the pot and fuel the fire with more follow-up questions and statements and nothing positive will come from it in the end.