Do You Need An Expert Witness In Your Divorce Trial?

You may need an expert’s testimony to set the record straight during your divorce proceedings. Even if you decide to settle out of court, an expert can provide invaluable information to help you obtain a more favorable outcome.

These experts can shed light on any number of topics from financial investigations, child custody issues or simple asset valuation. Their opinions can have a significant impact on a judge’s opinion or help both legal teams settle on crucial aspects of your case.

Who hires an expert witness and why?

Either party can hire an expert witness. However, who pays for the expert’s professional time and expenses could be up to a judge or your final settlement based on the nature of their testimony.

For example, if you hire an expert to evaluate your mutual child’s psychological health, or appraise the value of your joint property, and both parties agree with their findings, you might come to an agreement that you will pay some or most of their expenses.

Expert witnesses often provide their highly skilled experience in one of the following:

  • Business appraisal
  • Property appraisal
  • Financial investigation
  • Counseling or psychological therapies
  • Other medical opinions

If you or your spouse owns a business, or you suspect that they are hiding assets, an expert in these matters can help you get to the bottom of the truth.

Are there cons to hiring an expert witness?

The person whose testimony and services you request are specialized for a reason. They deserve compensation for taking time out of their busy personal and professional lives to give written or oral testimony for your case. You will need to pay them every day they are present for court, whether they testify on the stand that day or not.

If your assets could be worth far less than you anticipated, then you and your spouse should seriously consider the costs of hiring an expert appraiser. Consider your legal options carefully.

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The Law Offices of Stacy D. Heard, PLLC

Stacy Heard is an accomplished and well-respected family law attorney in Seattle, Washington who has served clients for over 20 years. Stacy specializes in matrimonial and family law. She handles matters of divorce, high-conflict parenting plan/child custody issues, international custody disputes and Hague Convention cases, complex financial issues, relocation, restraining orders, child support, and modifications of Parenting Plans and Child Support Orders.