If you are getting divorced, one thing you may be feeling is lost. Even if you’ve been divorced before, the legal process can be confusing and intimidating. The good news is that you need not navigate it alone. You can work with professionals who have the experience, training and knowledge to help you through this complicated process.
This includes experts.
Who are the experts?
Experts are professionals with special knowledge or training in a particular field. In the context of family law cases, you might consult experts, including:
- Asset appraisers
- Forensic accountants
- Custody (Parenting Time and Parental Decision Making) specialists
- Business evaluators
- Vocational professionals
- Private investigators
These individuals have typically built their careers on the very elements of your divorce that can be the most overwhelming.
Using experts wisely
In any family legal dispute, knowing whether to hire witnesses, who to hire and what value they might hold is something you can discuss with your lawyer. While the details of every case vary, some of the insights experts might have include:
- Understanding international custody risks
- Tracing assets
- Assigning value to valuable property
- Calculating incomes and earning potential
- Identifying investments
As an example of the weight these experts can hold in a divorce, we can look at one case where the testimony of a financial expert played a role in the courts awarding a woman $1 million after uncovering fraud by her ex-husband. The Appeal decision is here. The trial decision which includes the expert discussion is here.
If you are going through a divorce, you may benefit from expert testimony. These parties can play an integral role in family law cases by giving informed opinions and explaining complex concepts.
Ontario’s Family Law Rules contained some very specific directions with respect to experts. It’s best to carefully examine Rule 20.1 before you even embark on hiring an expert.
That said, using experts wisely is crucial. Mistakes in this aspect could wind up costing parties more than they stand to gain, and the fact is that they are not always necessary. Again, discussing the options with your lawyer can help you make informed decisions as you navigate this tricky process.