How A Subpoena Can Help You During A Divorce

12 October 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


A subpoena is a court-issued directive requiring a party to comply with specific instructions. Subpoenas are usually used to compel witnesses to testify against their will. Here are the specific issues a subpoena can help you with during your divorce:

Clearing Up Disputes

You can subpoena a witness with information that can clear up a dispute if they don't want to testify voluntarily. Consider a child custody dispute where both parents are insisting that they are the ones who take care of the children on a daily basis. In such a case, you may be able to settle the dispute by subpoenaing a neighbor who knows the true situation.

Offering Neutral Insights

In some cases, a judge may also offer a subpoena to get testimony that can shed more light on a situation. This is particularly true if the judge suspects that they can't rely on either parent to provide unbiased information. Take an example where the judge suspects that both of you are covering up a case of child neglect. In such a case, the judge may call upon a third party to confirm whether or not the child has suffered or is suffering neglect.  

Undermining the Opposing Argument

You may also get the court to subpoena a witness who can help you undermine the opposing side's argument if you suspect it isn't the right one. Take an example where the other parent wants your child to attend a school that you know won't serve your special needs child adequately. A testimony from the school's management can help you disprove your partner's claims, and you can get it via subpoena if you can't get it voluntarily.

Supporting Your Arguments

Just as you can get a subpoena to disapprove an opposing argument, you can also get one to support your argument. For example, if you want testimony for your choice of school, you may be able to get a subpoena to get the relevant party (say a school's superintendent) to testify in your case.

Compelling Document Production

A subpoena isn't just for compelling witnesses to testify; you can also use a subpoena to compel other people to produce relevant documents. This can be employment documents from your spouse's employer, education reports from your child's school, or business documents from your partner's business partners, among other things.

Therefore, if you believe someone has or knows something that can help you with a divorce, just inform a family law attorney like Scott Lyons Attorney at Law about it. The lawyer will do everything possible to ensure that the testimony or evidence finds its way to the court.