How To Use Witnesses During A Divorce Trial

When it is time to build your divorce case, there is a lot of evidence you can gather together that will allow you to prove your case. You may need help from character witnesses, expert witnesses and a family lawyer who is able to use subpoenas. 

Character Witnesses

A character witness is someone who testifies about your character in a trial. They will discuss personal qualities such as your responsibility and moral character. For someone to be chosen as a witness, he or she needs to know you very well. 

When you choose to use a witness, your family lawyer will ask the witness questions before the trial. Your spouse's attorney will question the witness next. After that, your attorney will be allowed to ask any remaining questions before the trial begins. 

You will probably not need a witness if you are going through an amicable divorce. In that case, a witness might actually make the divorce less amicable since you may be sending the message that you are accusing your spouse of lying.

Character witnesses are usually useful during a trial. However, in some circumstances, a character witness is absolutely essential. For example, if you are being accused of committing abuse, you may need a witness who can testify to your character. The witness you choose is important. For example, you shouldn't choose someone who would be unable to verify certain aspects of your character. 

Expert Witnesses

In addition to witnesses from your personal life, you may also have expert witnesses called upon. An expert witness is trained in a particular area of knowledge. Because of their knowledge, they are allowed to state their opinions on the record.

Witness Contact

Because of the need for witnesses, you will want to work with a family lawyer throughout your case. A family lawyer is able to subpoena any individuals whom the family lawyer believes have information that is pertinent to the case. The lawyer will either hire someone to issue the subpoena by hand or will mail the subpoena by certified mail. 

To have a subpoena issued, a litigant must complete a discovery process that lasts at least a month before the trial. Your attorney will also want to meet with the witnesses several times to prepare them for the trial. While the subpoena requires that someone be present at trial, it cannot force someone to say anything that they do not want to say.