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How do Subpoenas Work in a Divorce Case? 

 Posted on March 15, 2023 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyerDivorce cases vary significantly in complexity. When spouses own few assets and are willing to cooperate with each other and comply with the divorce process, the marriage can be dissolved with relative ease. However, high-asset divorce cases and high-conflict divorce cases are rarely this straightforward.

Divorce lawyers have many different legal tools at their disposal during a divorce case. One such tool is a subpoena. Subpoenas are court orders requiring individuals to appear in court and provide testimony or documents related to the case. In a divorce setting, they can be used to compel a spouse to turn over financial records, produce emails and text messages, or give statements about their marital assets.

When and How Are Subpoenas Used in a Divorce?

Subpoenas can be used in cases when a spouse is uncooperative or refuses to divulge truthful, complete information. For example, a spouse who refuses to provide financial documentation showing his or her income may be served with a subpoena. Subpoenas may be served to individuals or businesses, such as banks or cell phone companies.

Individuals may also be legally compelled to testify during a divorce case via a subpoena. This strategy can be used to obtain information directly from a spouse, such as where assets are located, or get information from a third party. Friends, family members, coworkers, teachers, counselors, or other people in a divorcing spouse's life may be compelled to testify in court about finances, child-related issues, or other matters pertinent to the divorce.

Subpoenas may be used to uncover information about:

  • Sources of income and the amount of income a spouse earns

  • Property and debts belonging to a spouse

  • Business or professional practice financials

  • Benefits and other income sources, such as pensions or Social Security

  • Information related to child custody and support negotiations, including childcare costs and medical expenses

  • Suspected child abuse or neglect

Subpoenas are not suggestions or invitations, they are legally binding court orders. Failure to comply with a subpoena can result in serious legal consequences, including being found in contempt of court.

Contact our DuPage Family Law Attorneys for Help

At Goostree Law Group, our Wheaton divorce lawyers are experienced in complex divorce cases, litigation, and trial work. We understand the importance of thorough discovery, gathering evidence and compelling individuals to comply with a subpoena when needed. Contact our law office today at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.




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