What Experts May I Need In My Divorce Matter?
By Noreen Bratton, NJCP
Whether you are litigating your divorce matter or negotiating a settlement outside of the Court system, in addition to your legal counsel, it may be helpful to engage specific experts to assist in valuing assets, determining income of the parties, or working through issues related to custody and parenting time with your children. The following is a list of possible experts you may need in your divorce matter that can assist in bringing your divorce to conclusion:
Real Estate Appraiser
What is your real estate worth? If one of the parties wishes to retain the marital residence or secondary home, retaining a certified real estate appraiser can provide the present value to determine a buyout figure.
Personal Property Appraiser
What are your household contents worth? Do you have antiques or special collections? A personal property appraiser can assist with assigning a value to specific items to assist with deciding which party keeps the item and at what cost?
What is your pension worth? Is part of your retirement account exempt from equitable distribution and that figure needs to be calculated? An accounting expert and/or pension actuary can calculate the value of certain retirement assets. This will assist in determining if the parties have retirement accounts of comparable value or a methodology needs to be suggested to equalize the retirement plans.
Forensic Accounting/Business Valuation Expert
What is your business worth? As a self-employed individual or a business owner, what is your true income and marital lifestyle expenditures for purposes of calculating support? A forensic accounting expert or business valuator can assist with a business valuation with regard to equitable distribution and a marital lifestyle analysis as it pertains to the issue of support.
Is your spouse unemployed or underemployed? Do you need to determine your spouse’s probable earning potential as it pertains to the issue of calculating support? A vocational expert can assist with determining earning potential and future plans for education and/or subsequent employment.
Custody/Parenting Time Experts
Are you struggling with co-parenting while going through the divorce process? There are several types of experts related to children in a divorce action such as a custody expert, parenting coordinator, child therapist, and reunification therapist. These experts can perform very different functions.
These are just a few examples of the types of experts you may need in your divorce action in addition to retaining an attorney. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned issues in your matter or have any questions about utilizing experts in your divorce action, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.
Noreen Bratton is a New Jersey Certified Paralegal (NJCP) in Obermayer’s Mt. Laurel office.