You may think of an expert witness as someone who provides illuminating facts in criminal cases. However, they can be extremely helpful in divorce cases as well.
Expert witness statements can facilitate case decisions in the face of highly disputed issues and facts. Expert witnesses can provide a valuable opinion on many issues in a divorce case, such as the fitness of a parent, the financial state of the marital estate or the real value of piece of property.
In absence of an expert witness’ opinion, the true fitness of a parent or actual value of a priceless piece of art may go unrecognized. Who you can have as an expert witness will depend heavily upon what important information they can provide and what information can help support your argument or claim. The court or the other party to the divorce may request an expert witness, or you may seek the services of an expert witness to provide conclusive evidence in support of your argument. Generally, statements from expert witnesses may be gathered and exchanged during the pre-trial discovery, or fact-finding, process.
Frequently in divorce cases, there are disputes over the suitability of either parent. Deciding upon a residential schedule is one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. It requires that everyone ask himself or herself, what is best for the child? This isn’t always clear and thus, expert witnesses are often called upon to provide their professional opinion of what is the best residential schedule for the child. Often, a current family or child counselor or therapist may be able to serve as an expert witness.
Alternatively, a custody or parenting evaluator can spend time with the child and parents, separately and individually, to arrive at a conclusion on what is best for the child. Other potential expert witnesses could include a financial planner, CPA or actuary who is able to provide an opinion on the financial issues in the divorce. For example, when items of high value are in question, a professional appraiser may serve as an expert witness to attest to the true value of a piece of property. Similarly, if one of the parties to the divorce owns a business, a business valuation expert may provide valuable facts for the case. In high stakes divorces involving highly contested custody arrangements or a high net-worth, expert witnesses can be a sound investment toward a divorce outcome you are happy with.
Are you in the Los Angeles area and have questions about using expert witnesses in a divorce case? Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney has experience representing high net-worth individuals and handling complex divorces requiring expert witnesses in Los Angeles County. Serving Los Angeles and surrounding areas, California family law attorney Mark H. Karney offers efficient and tenacious legal counsel. Call our office at 310-622-9434; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.