When to Hire an Expert Witness

When you are facing a court case, you will be required to provide proof that supports your allegations and your defenses.  A divorce or custody case is no exception to this.  You will need to provide evidence that supports your position, including property division, debt division, child custody, and spousal maintenance, just to name a few.  Evidence often includes testimony of witnesses.  In some divorce or custody cases, it may be necessary for you to consider retaining the services of an expert witness.

One situation during which you may need to consider hiring an expert witness is when you have a complicated asset that needs to be appraised and divided.  The most common example of this is a family business.  Businesses are difficult to accurately appraise without the advice and assistance of a professional, as business assets and debts are varied, ranging from real estate to inventory to accounts receivable.  An expert can provide an accurate account of what a business’s value actually is, which can be essential in a divorce trial to providing the court with an accurate idea of the property that is subject to an equitable division.

Another reason you may want to hire an expert witness is when a child has special medical or psychological needs.  Issues of child custody are often at the center of bitter divorce cases, with each parent firmly believing his or her plan for the child is what is best for that child.  If your child has special needs, the medical professionals, educators, or therapists who are responsible for the child’s care and attention on a regular basis may be best positioned to give the court an expert and firm opinion about what type of visitation or custody schedule may be best.

Finally, forensic accountants may be helpful in your case.  In New Jersey, a court will only be able to divide the property and debts that are deemed to be marital property.  Separate property will not be divided by the court.  Forensic accountants may be necessary where one spouse is alleging a substantial asset or debt should be considered separate property and therefore should not be divided during the divorce.  The forensic accountant can provide expert testimony about when and how the asset was acquired, in addition to how the asset was maintained, all of which can be essential issues for deciding whether an asset is divisible in divorce.

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We have extensive experience assisting our clients to provide the best evidence to support their cases.  Contact us today to talk about your case and how we can help you. 

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation Download our Free Resource Guide today!

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