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What is a Subpoena and When is it Used in Divorce Proceedings?

Encinitas, CA – When getting divorced, issues of spousal and child support often arise, as do disputes over dividing assets and debts. If one party is concerned that the other may be concealing vital information, California allows for the issuance of a subpoena.

What Is a Subpoena?

Subpoenas in Divorce“A subpoena is a mandatory request for a person to produce evidence and/or appear in court,” explains John Griffith of San-Diego based family law firm Griffith, Young, and Lass. “It’s a court-issued document that must be fulfilled; otherwise, without a motion to quash, a penalty will be incurred.”

“Subpoenas are incredibly useful in some cases,” Griffith continues. “They must be accurate and can be certified, allowing one to circumvent California’s hearsay rule. This means the documents can be admitted in court. You can even get your own attorney fees reimbursed using a subpoena.”

Several Types of Subpoenas in Divorce Cases

In California, there are a few types of subpoenas available for use in divorce hearings. The three most common are:

  1. Civil Subpoena for Personal Appearance at Trial or Hearing, California form SUBP-001. This document compels a witness to appear at a hearing or trial, often with the hopes of using this third party to put pressure on the spouse. This makes it more feasible to settle the matter before the third party witness testimony comes to pass.
  2. Civil Subpoena (Duces Tecum) for Personal Appearance and Production of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Things at Trial or Hearing and Declaration, California form SUBP-002. This form instructs the witness not only to appear in court but also to bring certain items or documents to the trial or hearing.
  3. Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records, California form SUBP-0010. With this document, any business records may be requested. Common examples include medical records, employment history, police reports, bank statements, and so forth. When one spouse is likely under-reporting income or over-reporting liabilities, this type of subpoena is particularly useful.

What Can Subpoenas Uncover?

With a subpoena, many hidden assets and other information may come out of the woodwork. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Jewelry and/or real property appraisals
  • Job applications and work history
  • Personal documents like calendars, diaries, and appointment books
  • Police reports or photographs pertaining to domestic violence allegations
  • Previously undisclosed bank, insurance, or retirement accounts or investments
  • Proof of expenses related to medical costs or childcare
  • “Under-the-table” pay to prove that the other party has sufficient money to pay child and/or spousal support
  • Various receipts, bookkeeping documents, and other such records

Seeking Professional Counsel

“When it comes to divorces with a complex financial component, it’s best to consult with an experienced law professional,” remarks Griffith. “Each case varies greatly; therefore, you want to make sure that you’re getting the appropriate information to efficiently finalize your divorce.”

To best ensure that subpoenas are filled out properly and certified correctly, schedule a free consultation with John Griffith and his associates today!

© 2017 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.


Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.


Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.


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