When any aspect of a divorce is contested in Texas, a judge will require both parties to present evidence supporting their stances. Sufficient evidence is especially important in regards to marital assets and property division. Assets and property cannot be fairly divided if they are not all properly identified and valued. Unfortunately, there are divorce cases in which one or both parties try to hide assets, or fail to produce the required valuation, in an attempt to keep the asset for themselves. This kind of behavior is illegal, as it is essentially stealing from the other spouse. If you suspect or know that your former spouse has purposefully withheld information regarding certain assets, contact the divorce subpoena attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Clark to learn more about the legal steps you can take to force full disclosure.
Using a Subpoena in a Dallas Divorce
If your former spouse refuses to produce his or her financial documents and valuations of certain assets, a subpoena may be required. Subpoenas are used in a court of law to compel evidence from a witness or other third party. The subpoena attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Clark are experienced in dealing with contested divorces and in obtaining the evidence necessary to successfully advocate for our clients.
The discovery phase of a divorce is when evidence is submitted and reviewed so that the judge may make an informed decision. This phase typically includes the following:
- Requests for the production and inspection of documents and assets, including land;
- Requests for admission (meaning, each party must admit or deny certain facts);
- Written interrogatories (questions that the other side has to answer under oath);
- Depositions (questions that the other side has to answer orally under oath); and
- Request for disclosure from each party (which includes a set of questions set out in the Rules of Civil Procedure).
During discovery, the judge is looking for items such as financial records, asset valuations, investment account statements, and other documents showing the judge what marital assets are to be divided. When one or both parties fails to disclose information regarding certain assets, the judge cannot fairly and equitably distribute marital assets. This goes against Texas’s laws as a community property state.
If any parties of the divorce, including the judge, suspect that someone is hiding something, they can request for information to be subpoenaed. A third party will be charged with acquiring the information being sought. If you suspect that your spouse is not being forthcoming about his or her assets, our divorce attorneys will produce a subpoena duces tecum directed at the bank, lender, employer, or any other third party that likely has the documents you seek.
Your former spouse will be notified of the subpoena and will be given the chance to “quash the subpoena,” or object to it. However, in order for him or her to be successful in this objection, he or she must have legal grounds to do so. Simply not wanting to produce evidence because he or she feels the assets in question are separate property is not legal grounds.
Consult a Dallas Divorce Subpoena Attorney
At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark and Associates, our attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with contested divorces and difficult spouses. We have successfully subpoenaed the evidence our clients need to achieve the most fair and equitable distribution of marital assets. If your spouse is making the division of assets process more difficult than it needs to be, reach out to our family law firm in Dallas at (469) 914-5564 to schedule your free consultation today.