The following is a list of professionals who should be considered as possibly having something to offer you in your divorce proceedings. This list is not intended to be a complete, end-all list of professionals who should be included or consulted with in putting together your strategy, but rather as a tool in helping to recruit team members who will be able to offer professional testimony, opinion, consultation and advice.
As always, consult first with your attorney when organizing your strategy.
Experts And Professions That May Be Involved In Your Divorce
And The Most Common Areas Where The Expert Would Provide Advise.
a. Could be a specialized person or accountant
b. Determine the value of a marital business asset
c. Determine the income from a marital business asset
d. Determine the marital or separate nature of a business asset
e. Determine if assets have been hidden or squandered in the marriage
f. Determine value of assets
g. Determine nature of debts incurred in the marriage
h. In rare instances can look for patterns showing affair
i. Determine reasonable expenses based upon lifestyle of the parties
j. Determine income for parties that are not normal salaried employees
i. Cash earners
k. Tax related matters for maintenance
l. Tax related matters for property and debt allocation
i. Sale of property
ii. Retirement accounts
m. Tax related matters for child support (though there are often not many tax related issues in this area as child support is tax neutral).
n. Business evaluations in small service related businesses
o. Pension and retirement calculations
i. Value at marriage
ii. Value at or near divorce
iii. Income derived from retirement at divorce
iv. Income derived upon retirement
p. Home is the most common
i. Sports cards and memorabilia
ii. Lladro, Precious Moments ect.
iii. Dolls, Beanie Babies ect
t. Electronic equipment
u. Sports equipment
v. Power tools
w. Recover email messages or instant messages relating to an affair
x. Recover financial records
y. Recover pornography
z. Determine the reasonable income of a party
ii. Child support
iii. Attorney fees
aa. Review available employment that meets the party’s criteria
i. Current work
ii. Prior work history
iv. Physical/mental ability
Psychologist or Psychiatrist
bb. Child custody evaluations
cc. Parental Alienation
dd. Mental health of a parent
i. Vocational issues
ii. Parenting issues
ee. Establish mental cruelty in misconduct issue
ff. Review allegations of physical, mental or sexual abuse
i. Misconduct issues alleged by a spouse against a spouse
ii. Custody issues alleged against a parent.
gg. Review parents for issues relating to drugs and alcohol abuse
i. Determine impact on the children if drug or alcohol abuse is found
hh. Can be appointed by a court.
ii. Interview parties and age appropriate children
jj. Report to the court on their opinion on an appropriate custody and visitation schedule.
kk. Determine if there is any concern regarding drug, alcohol or abuse issues affecting the children.
ll. Can be appointed by a court.
Guardian Ad Litem (G.A.L.)
mm. Appointed by the court to represent the interest of a child or in rare circumstances an incapacitated adult
i. In most jurisdictions is an attorney
ii. In most jurisdictions a GAL is required if abuse or neglect of a child is alleged
nn. Acts as an investigator for the court
i. Will interview the parties, age appropriate children and relevant third parties
ii. Request to the court by a GAL for psychological evaluation of the parties, appointment of a custody evaluator or drug testing of the parties is often granted by the court.
oo. Acts as an advocate for the children
pp. Often files a written report with the court shortly prior to a pretrial conference or the actual trial.
qq. Cost and expenses of the GAL are paid by the parties.
rr. May not be an actual expert as testifying often to what is actually witnessed and not providing an opinion
ss. Follow and record movements and activities of a spouse
2. Drug or alcohol use
iii. Determine is someone is working
tt. Access databases to review a party or third parties criminal background
uu. A third party that attempts to bring the parties together in a settlement
i. In many jurisdictions the mediator is an attorney or former judge
ii. Some jurisdictions have social workers mediate custody issues
vv. Costs are split between the parties
i. Some jurisdictions subsidize mediation for low income parties
ww. If court ordered it is necessary to attend.
xx. In most circumstances the mediation is not binding. The parties are not required to reach an agreement.
i. Though in some jurisdictions if an agreement is reached at mediation the agreement is then binding and will be enforced by the court.
yy. Can mediate all topics and issues in a divorce.
zz. Your attorney may or may not attend depending on the jurisdiction.