Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What Types of Expert Witnesses Are Used in Divorce Cases?

Expert witnesses are usually associated with criminal cases or personal injury cases. However, expert witnesses can also be very helpful in a divorce case. When issues in a divorce case are in dispute, an expert witness can help the family court judge sort through the various opinions and allegations to get to the truth. There are many situations in which an expert witness can be valuable in a family law matter. Our New York family law lawyers discuss some of these situations below.

What is an Expert Witness and Why Do I Need One?

An expert witness is someone with specialized knowledge of a specific topic. Because the witness has special education, experience, or skills related to a certain area, the court recognizes the testimony from that person as being more than an opinion. However, before an expert witness is permitted to testify as an “expert,” the attorney must submit evidence to establish the person as an expert, such as advanced training or advanced degrees. The testimony of an expert witness can add credibility and authority to a party’s argument and position.

What Type of Expert Witnesses Are Used in a New York Divorce Action?

Many different expert witnesses may be used in a divorce action.  However, some of the most common expert witnesses our New York family law lawyers utilize in divorce actions include:

  • Child Therapists and Psychologists: In highly contested custody cases, we might retain the services of a therapist or psychologist who treats children. We often use this type of expert witness when there are allegations of abuse in the home. A child therapist or psychologist can provide testimony about the living environment and what would be in the best interests of the child after evaluating the child.

  • Property and Real Estate Experts: Expert witnesses with special knowledge in calculating the market value of the couple’s property may be necessary when property division is being contested. In high-value property division cases, we may need an expert to value real estate, collections, or antiques. An expert can be very helpful when one party is attempting to divide marital property in his or her favor.

  • Accountants and Financial Experts: If a spouse is attempting to hide assets or undervalue a business he or she owns, a financial expert can help. Accountants and other financial experts can investigate to uncover hidden sources of income or accounts that can impact the amount of child support or alimony awarded. It can also impact property division.

  • Vocational Experts: Vocational experts are used when we are trying to estimate how much money a spouse can earn. This amount can impact the amount and length of alimony. Vocational experts are typically used in cases in which one spouse gave up a career to stay at home to take care of a family.

Contact Our New York Family Law Lawyers If You Have Questions

Expert witnesses are often used in contested, complex, or high-value divorces. Our New York matrimonial law lawyers have experience handling these types of divorce cases. Our matrimonial attorneys can analyze your case to determine if hiring an expert witness would be a sound investment in fighting for the outcome you desire for your divorce case. Contact us today to see how we can best serve you.

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