When preparing for a divorce trial, it is common to determine what evidence is necessary to present to the court as well as what witnesses and experts may need to take the stand to testify on your behalf. With expert testimony holding significant weight with the court, due to their education, experience, and knowledge, it is common to hire experts to evaluate your case and testify what their investigations revealed. It is important to discuss with your Florida Divorce Attorney the option or need of expert testimony in your specific case.
One of the most common instances where experts are asked to testify surround a couple’s finances. Financial experts, accountants, or forensic accountants, can investigate and testify to the financial standings of the parties. They will assess income and expenses, assets and liabilities, and may also reveal assets that may have been hidden by a spouse. In many cases, these experts will determine a proper or necessary alimony and child support award based upon significant investigation of both parties’ financial situations and the surrounding cost of living analysis. Rather, than only being presented with the parties’ financial affidavits, the court will be able to hear testimony from an expert analysis supported by factual basis.
Vocational experts are also commonly employed to testify in a case where alimony is in dispute. Vocational experts analyze a spouse’s capability to be employed, and if able to be employed, at what level. The vocational expert looks to the physical, and mental health of the individual as well as their education level, prior work experience, and the job market in the area. The vocational expert will be able to determine if a spouse is able to retain employment in the area and apply this analysis to an alimony award determination.
If parties are disputing the value of any assets, such as a home, art piece, business, or any type of real property, an expert may be employed to value the property. These experts may be property appraisers, business valuators, or experts within a particular field of personal property such as jewelry or art. Rather than relying on computer evaluations of homes, couples may need to employ an expert to provide the court with a proper determination involving countless factors surrounding the value of a home. Further, the value of a business is crucial to the proper equitable distribution of assets. Businesses can be a complicated evaluation as there are typically a great deal of profits, losses, assets and liabilities associated with the daily business dealings. In the same way, specific personal property items values are important in an equitable distribution of property. With antiques, jewelry, or artwork an expert in the field may be necessary to assess the genuine nature of articles and the actual value within their particular category of property. All of this expert evaluation can provide you with significant and accurate representations of the values of your property and ultimately provide you with an equitable distribution.
Finally, if your case involves minor children, it is often encouraged for children and families to engage in counseling or to enlist the aid of a child psychologist. Although, they are not required to testify and can simply be employed to assist your family during this transition, they may present an evaluation of the child and parents, to the court and testify if necessary. For instance, in cases where there has been alleged abuse, a psychologist may be employed to evaluate the child, both parents, and determine the needs of the child, and support each parent is able to provide to the child. These reports play a significant role in child custody and parenting plan determinations. Therefore, if a child psychologist is involved in your case, be sure to provide a great deal of attention and be accommodating to their schedule and requirements of you.
Experts can play a significant role in your divorce and should be considered if you are in need of certain expert opinions on disputed topics. Your Florida Divorce Attorney will be able to address certain issues that may require an expert opinion as well as provide a list of experts that have previously provided assistance in other cases.
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