Divorce Q&A: What is a “Motion to Compel”?

Motion to Compel Divorce Attorney

A “Motion to Compel Discovery” is a formal request one party makes to the Court asking the Court to force the other side to produce documents or information for discovery. When one side fails to produce relevant documents or information, the other side can request that the court force or “compel” the other party to produce the relevant documents or information.

A “Motion to Compel” is usually heard on a family judge’s “Motion Calendar,” where each side is given 5 minutes to make arguments as to why the documents or information should or shouldn’t be produced. After listening to the arguments and reviewing the court file, the Judge will determine whether it is necessary for the party to produce the discovery, and if so, in what time frame.

Sometimes, when a party fails to produce discovery, the judge may order that the party withholding the discovery pay the other’s attorney’s fees and costs for the necessity of forcing them to comply. It is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who understands discovery, what is required, and what can and should be argued.

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This is NOT LEGAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make any legal or other major decisions. If you have specific questions or inquiries regarding any of this information, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state.