Legal matters involving family members can become very emotional and stressful. When tensions are running high, some family members may be hesitant to testify or give up evidence that may relate to the case at hand. If this is the case, a subpoenamay be brought into the equation.

A subpoena is a demand for the production of certain documents or to appear in a legal proceeding, such as in court or in a deposition or arbitration. If you receive a subpoena, you can be required to appear in court, produce documents, or appear in court with documents. “Subpoena” is a Latin term that means “under penalty.” Essentially, a subpoena is a court order that if not followed is punishable by law.

Subpoenas can be issued by any party in a lawsuit and can be served on the other parties and/or persons and businesses that may have documents and/or other evidence that is relevant to the family law case at hand.

If you have been served a subpoena, you should not ignore it. If you were to ignore the subpoena, it could be considered contempt of court. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to review the subpoena to determine what the court is asking of you and whether or not you need to appear in court. If you are being asked to provide documents, an attorney can help you understand the specifics of what you are being asked to provide. North Carolina utilizes a form subpoena which contains instructions and information helpful in deciding how to respond.

Subpoenas can play an important role in a family law dispute and can sometimes make things more complex. If you or someone you know has questions regarding subpoenas and how they relate to family law matters, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to answer your questions.