If parents divorcing, could children be subpoenaed by a parent if they do not want to be involved in speaking in court?

My parents are starting the divorce process. It is possible that my brothers and I will be subpoenaed by a parent. I know that is ridiculous but if it happens. Is there something we can say or not say that will keep us out of the whole situation? For instance. Pleading the fifth, saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know, I don’t remember”, etc. I heard that if you answer even the question of what is your name then you have to continue to answer everything else, but if you continue to say I don’t know then they can’t do anything. We don’t want to be involved in this. What can we do if subpoenaed?

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Family Law, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible that under the right circumstances a parent could very well have one of his or her children subpoenaed to testify in court with respect to an issue that the trier of fact needs to decide in a marital dissolution situation. Typically this does not happen because parents ususally desire to keep their children removed from such a proceeding.

If you have to testify in court and do not know the answer to the question, simply tell the truth while on the stand. Bottom line is that if you are subponead to testify, you are required to appear under law at the time designated.

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