According to a recent law journal, computer gurus are becoming the new experts of choice called in divorce cases. In this issue, we’ll talk about what other types of expert witnesses can be called to help you in your divorce.
What exactly is an expert witness?
Essentially, an expert witness is someone with special education, training, and experience who can give their opinion in court without having been a witness to any specific occurrence in the case. While some can be appointed by the court (forensic accountants, child custody evaluators, etc.), others are retained privately by both spouses.
Are expert witnesses really used in divorce cases?
Absolutely! While expert witnesses are typically portrayed by Hollywood as being called mainly in high profile murder or kidnapping cases, they can actually reduce the risk of courtroom drama in divorce cases.
Some of the areas in which their testimony is of great benefit in divorce cases include:
- Property valuation
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Paternity disputes
- Business valuation and more
Their primary job is to express their independent expert opinion based upon information they’ve been provided.
What are some examples of how an expert witness can help?
- Financial experts can provide valuable insight about a person’s financial information, and would be able to testify, for example, about whether or not a person can afford to pay a certain amount of child support or alimony.
- When there’s personal property and other real estate to be divided, appraisers are often called to testify about what it’s actually worth.
- If the couple has children and there are allegations of abuse or concerns about custody, child psychologists, therapists or social workers may be called to make recommendations to the court about what’s in the best interest of the child.
How is the expert paid?
There’s usually a written agreement in place between the expert and your lawyer that spells out who is responsible for paying the expert. Some experts will charge an hourly rate while others request a lump sum fee. The rates may differ depending on if they’re called for a deposition or the actual trial.
While retaining an expert witness may raise the cost of the process, it can also mean the difference in you getting a more favorable deal with the court’s decision.
Are You a Man Facing Divorce in California? Call The Men’s Legal Center of San Diego
If you’re preparing for a divorce or in the midst of a custody battle, you need the advice of a lawyer who knows which experts to hire and when to hire them.
To talk more about your options, call us here at The Men’s Legal Center. Our number is 619-234-3838 or you can reach us by email.