Blog

Subpoenaing Witnesses for Divorce Trial

When your divorce goes to trial, a judge will have to make the decisions that you and your spouse cannot agree upon while dissolving your marriage. These may include decisions about the custody of your children, the amount of support or alimony payments and the division of assets and property. In order to make your case stronger, your attorney will want to call witnesses who can support your argument for specific terms of the divorce.

Your attorney will subpoena individuals who have information that can help your case. Those individuals will swear under oath that they are telling the truth and then share the information they have with the court. There are different types of subpoenas, depending on the witness and whether or not that person will be friendly to your case or willing to testify. A subpoena duces tecum is often used when the actual witness is not required at trial, but your lawyer wants that person to produce some sort of documentation or information that he or she has.

A subpoena needs to be hand delivered or served to a witness via certified mail. There’s a formal process involved that ensures the witness is notified of the need to testify. There needs to be enough notice given and your attorney will want to spend some time with all witnesses that will be called ahead of the divorce trial. Remember that a subpoena can be helpful during your divorce trial, but witnesses are sometimes unpredictable. Instead of forcing someone to testify, start by asking if they would be willing to help.

This post was written by David Hurvitz. Follow David on Google+.