The short answer is, “perhaps.” Some divorce cases do not need to use the services of any experts, whereas some other cases might need input from several professionals. The facts of your situation will determine whether an expert is appropriate.
North Carolina family law attorneys could talk to you and advise you on the issue of hiring experts for your divorce case. You will want to talk with your lawyer early on in the process about the issue of experts so that there will be enough time to select, higher, and get the maximum benefit from an expert. Here are some of the types of experts that people sometimes use in divorce cases:
Business Valuation Expert
Let’s say that you and your spouse own a family business. It is unlikely that you will both want to continue working in that enterprise after the marriage gets dissolved. A business valuation expert can review the company books and calculate the value of each spouse’s share of the business. One spouse could buy out the other person’s share, or they could agree to exchange that value for some other asset.
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant
Sometimes one spouse is the primary breadwinner, and the other spouse has been out of the labor market for an extended time, often being the caregiver of the children. A vocational rehabilitation consultant could evaluate that spouse’s education, job skills, and abilities to determine the types of jobs that person could perform and the amount of money one could earn in those positions. This information could be highly useful to the court when determining the need for and amount of spousal support.
Real Estate Appraiser
One of the largest assets most people own is the family home. A real estate appraiser could calculate the value of the real property if one spouse wants to remain in the home and buy out the other spouse’s equity or offset that equity with other assets.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
People often overlook the tax consequences when dealing with property distribution in divorces. An item could have a net value much lower than the face value after taxes.
High-Conflict Custody Expert
When parents cannot agree on the terms of custody and visitation or parenting time, sometimes the situation escalates to the point that a high-conflict custody expert becomes needed. This individual can talk to both parents and the children and try to formulate a fair arrangement that takes into account the needs of the children rather than each parent trying to win a battle.
Some judges will order both parents to consult with a high-conflict custody expert when they have disputes after the divorce. This measure can minimize the number of post-divorce motions the parties file with the court complaining about the other parent’s conduct.
Psychologist for Psychological Evaluations
When one parent makes allegations of abuse, neglect, alcohol or drug misuse, or mental illness, the judge could order both parents to go to a court-appointed psychologist and have psychological evaluations. The judge wants to make sure that whatever custody and visitation arrangements get ordered, the children will be safe and have a healthy environment.
People often try to hide money and other assets from their soon-to-be-former spouse when going through a divorce. Sometimes it is necessary to hire a forensic investigator to track down assets. North Carolina family law attorneys can advocate for you and provide guidance when a case needs input from an expert. Contact our office today for a free consultation.