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The Role of Experts in High-Asset Divorce Cases

By Sheryl Rentz on April 15, 2023

well dressed man and woman sit on a couch and both remove their wedding rings.

A high-asset divorce can be a complex, lengthy, often contentious process. Experts may be brought in to testify regarding issues related to property division and child custody. In a court of law, expert witnesses are allowed to go beyond stating the facts to provide an expert opinion of a particular topic. In a high net worth divorce, it is important to hire the right experts to help you navigate the process.

What Types of Experts May Be Needed in a High-Asset Divorce?

Depending on the circumstances, several experts may be needed for a high net worth divorce, particularly when children are involved. The following are some types of expert witnesses commonly hired in complex divorce cases.

Property Division Experts

Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. The courts seek to distribute marital assets between the parties in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal. An important step in the process is determining the value of the assets involved. For that, you may need experts such as a:

  • Real estate appraiser to determine the value of the family home and other real estate acquired during the marriage
  • Business valuator to determine the value of a family business
  • Forensic accountant to testify in issues related to stock portfolios or business valuation, or to uncover financial information that could affect property division

Alimony Experts

If you are seeking or contesting alimony in a divorce, you may need an expert to support your case. A vocational evaluator is a type of expert that can help determine and testify regarding the earning potential of a party in a divorce. This is important because calculations for spousal support are based on what a spouse who is currently unemployed or underemployed is likely to earn in the future. A vocational evaluator can help determine the need for spousal support.

Child Custody Experts

Child custody can be a complicated and highly contested issue. Child custody evaluators are often child psychologists or marriage and family therapists. This type of expert may be called in to study both households and give an opinion as to where it is in the child’s best interests to live.

Domestic Abuse Experts

If domestic abuse has been an issue in the marriage, you may need a domestic abuse expert to testify in your divorce. This type of expert can testify regarding general information about domestic abuse, which your attorney can tie to your case, and/or to facts specific to your case. Before testifying he or she can review materials such as police reports, medical reports, court documents, photographs, and text messages, and conduct an interview and assessment with the victim.

How Is Expert Testimony Used in Court to Support Your Case?

If your divorce goes to trial, you will need to present evidence to the court. Expert witnesses testifying on your behalf can give your arguments validity and help you obtain a better outcome in important matters in your case. Judges are more likely to give weight to the testimony of experts in particular fields. Your Montgomery County divorce attorney has the critical task of preparing your expert witnesses for trial and presenting their testimony effectively in court.

If you are facing a high-asset divorce, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we are skilled at dealing with complex financial issues that arise in high net worth divorce, and with child custody matters. Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz works closely with every client to fully understand and fight for his or her best interests. Contact us today at (866) 290-9292.

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Posted in: High-Asset Divorce

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