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Using expert witnesses in a divorce case

When people in Washington make the decision to divorce, they face a range of varying circumstances. Some couples may be able to reach a simple resolution with little difficulty, and even some people with significant assets find it easy to negotiate a fair resolution. However, other cases can be much more challenging, especially when the divorcing spouses are in dispute over financial matters, child custody or other major legal issues.

While a family law attorney will guide a divorcing spouse's overall approach to the end of a marriage, there are some circumstances in which a divorce lawyer may wish to bring in an expert witness for additional support in court. These circumstances typically involve cases in which expert knowledge is necessary in order to make a recommendation. For example, child custody disputes may involve an expert witness. An expert may be brought in to interview the parents and children or present recommendations to the court about the best interests of the children in a contentious divorce. These witnesses are frequently mental health professionals who can demonstrate extensive knowledge about child welfare.

In other cases, high-asset divorces or those involving dividing a business may require other expert witnesses. Forensic accountants and other finance professionals could examine financial statements, evaluate a business or other properties to determine their market worth and otherwise address key financial disputes in court. When one partner accuses the other of hiding or withholding assets, a forensic accountant could investigate to determine if some assets were not disclosed.

Every divorce is unique, and a family law attorney may help a divorcing spouse understand the legal process and provide representation. A lawyer may work to address key issues and achieve a fair settlement on a range of matters, including property division and child custody.

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