Subpoena for Divorce Case: Do You Have to Answer?
San Elijo Hills, CA – Have you received a subpoena from a California family court? If so, you may be wondering how to respond. Of course, the right thing to do would be to answer the call to go to court and do as the court directs. However, there may be circumstances that cause you to want to ignore the notice. Is this a good idea? Is it even legal?
Hire a Qualified Divorce Attorney
“Subpoenas have to be filled out in a specific manner. If this protocol isn’t followed, they will have zero effect,” said California family attorney John Griffith of Griffith, Young & Lass, serving clients in Carlsbad and San Diego.
To ensure the court will accept and enforce the subpoena, you will want to hire a qualified attorney to draft the paperwork properly. If you are the one who has received a subpoena, an experienced divorce lawyer can guide you on the proper course of action so that you don’t face any penalties by not showing up as directed.
Answering the Subpoena
There are two types of divorce subpoenas, party and witness depositions. A party is someone who is joined in the divorce case, such as a husband or wife of the party in the case. The person receiving the subpoena will get a formal written request from the other party’s lawyer, in most cases. It is also possible for someone self-representing to send a subpoena, but those cases are rare.
If you are required to show up to court to provide testimony, you may be required to show certain documents, such as bank records or lease agreements. Your divorce attorney can object to the demand, as long as it falls within the timeline established by the order.
If you are issuing a subpoena for a witness or you have been subpoenaed as a witness, this is handled a bit differently in California family court. Witnesses are served by deposition subpoenas, which – just like party depositions – can also include a request to produce certain documents.
What to Expect During a Deposition
The good news is that by hiring a qualified divorce lawyer, you don’t have to be present at the deposition, though it is recommended that you are. You should help your lawyer prepare by providing all necessary and truthful information.
Depositions are usually held in conference rooms or offices. There is usually a court reporter present and the person giving the deposition will be placed under oath. This also means that there will be a record of the divorce deposition. There will be breaks provided, and you can discuss your deposition with your attorney during these breaks.
What if You Don’t Go?
The subpoena to appear in court is a legally binding court order, which means that failure to abide can result in a finding of contempt, and ultimately a short stay in jail.
Don’t risk it. Whether you want to file a subpoena to have a party show up in court or you received a subpoena for a divorce and you don’t know how to proceed, contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass, now serving clients in San Diego and Carlsbad, CA.
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