A blank paper with the word 'subpoena' prominently displayed, representing the initial step in the legal process of requesting information during a Texas divorce.

When a marriage dissolves, trust between spouses often diminishes, necessitating comprehensive disclosure of personal and financial details. In Texas, subpoenas serve as vital tools for obtaining information from third parties during a divorce. A subpoena is a legal document commanding an individual or entity to appear in court, produce evidence, or both, with penalties for non-compliance.

Issuing Subpoenas in Texas Divorce Cases

Attorneys in Texas have the authority to issue subpoenas under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 176 allows for subpoenas to compel witnesses to attend and testify at depositions, hearings, or trials, and to require the production of documents or tangible things. This power is crucial for the discovery process, enabling parties to gather necessary evidence.

Compliance and Motion to Compel

Recipients of subpoenas are legally obligated to respond and comply within a specified timeframe. Failure to do so can lead the issuing party to file a motion to compel with the court, seeking an order for compliance. Rule 215 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure grants the court authority to enforce compliance and impose sanctions for non-compliance.

Involving Third Parties

Sometimes, third parties holding relevant information or documents may be reluctant to comply with a subpoena. Texas law ensures that all parties with a stake in the divorce outcome are properly represented, and the court has access to necessary information for a fair decision.

Contempt of Court and Sanctions

Disobeying a court order or failing to respond to a subpoena can result in contempt of court, governed by Chapter 21 of the Texas Government Code. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or both. Additionally, Rule 215 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure allows the court to impose sanctions, ranging from monetary penalties to dismissing claims.

Enforcing Subpoenas

Enforcing subpoenas is vital for a fair and thorough discovery process in Texas divorce proceedings. The court has broad authority to ensure compliance, uphold the integrity of the legal process, and protect the rights of all parties involved.


Understanding and utilizing subpoenas is crucial in a Texas divorce. Ensuring compliance is key to gathering necessary evidence and protecting your rights.

To retain an experienced Texas divorce lawyer for your divorce or child custody case in DallasDentonCollin or Rockwall County, please schedule a consultation with us today.