A List Of Divorce Professionals To Consider

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.

Business Evaluator

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

Forensic Accountant

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

Accountant

i. Determine reasonable expenses based upon lifestyle of the parties

j. Determine income for parties that are not normal salaried employees

i. Cash earners

ii. Bonus

iii. Commission

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

Appraiser

p. Home is the most common

q. Automobiles

i. Collector

r. Artwork

s. Collectibles

i. Sports cards and memorabilia

ii. Lladro, Precious Moments ect.

iii. Dolls, Beanie Babies ect

iv. Albums

t. Electronic equipment

u. Sports equipment

v. Power tools

Computer

w. Recover email messages or instant messages relating to an affair

x. Recover financial records

y. Recover pornography

Vocational Expert

z. Determine the reasonable income of a party

i. Maintenance

ii. Child support

iii. Attorney fees

aa. Review available employment that meets the party’s criteria

i. Current work

ii. Prior work history

iii. Education

iv. Physical/mental ability

v. Skills

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.

Custody evaluator

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.

Private Investigator

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

i. Misconduct

1. Affair

2. Drug or alcohol use

ii. Custody

iii. Determine is someone is working

tt. Access databases to review a party or third parties criminal background

Mediator

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.

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