How can I get my husband’s e-mail subpoenaed?

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How can I get my husband’s e-mail subpoenaed?

I am going through a divorce and feel that my husband was cheating before we split. Is it hard to get his work email records so I can have proof since we can’t settle out of court? We have been separated for a few months and he is already serious about someone else. We can’t agree on child custody and may have to go to court.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless and until there is a court case, you cannot compel him to give you these things (or compel his employer to provide them). If and when the case goes to court, then you could use the mechanisms of "discovery" (e.g. interrogatories or document requests to him; possibly subpoenas to his place of business) to seek this information. Note that you can only seek relevant documents, so an employer, if you did subpoena it, could only turn over documents which seem to bear directly on you divorce and not turn over the entire mass of his work emails. Also, there are sometimes grounds to withhold documents, such as objections based on privilege (e.g. the document contains some communication which is barred by some privilege or other protective doctrine).


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