What Experts Are Needed in High-Asset Divorce Cases?

What Experts Are Needed in High-Asset Divorce Cases?

If you are a party to a high-asset divorce, professionals from accountants to vocational experts may help secure a favorable settlement in your case. The use of experts in your Chicago high-asset divorce can help you to make sure you get a fair result. Experts can also assist the court in determining how to divide property and how to calculate spousal support and child support.

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a professional with significant experience in a particular field that is brought in to testify in a legal case. High-asset divorces can often be more complicated and take longer than a typical divorce. With so much at stake, you will want to seek the help of an experienced high-asset divorce lawyer. You may also need to seek help from an expert witness. 

If the legal case goes to trial, the expert witness will go on the stand to give a professional opinion about the details of the case. The expert may testify about the value of the property, make recommendations about child support, or testify about any number of other things that are relevant to the legal proceeding.

What Experts are Needed in High-Asset Divorce Cases?

You likely know that you will need a divorce lawyer to help you get a favorable outcome in your high-asset divorce. In addition to a lawyer with experience handling high-asset divorce cases, you will also want to consider experts to assist with your case. 

The types of professional experts who may assist with your case include:

  • Certified public accountants
  • Real estate appraisers
  • Business valuation experts
  • Vocational experts

Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, can be of great assistance when analyzing financial matters in high-asset divorces. CPAs can help with identifying and valuing marital property, determining spousal income, and calculating gains and losses on various investment accounts.

If you own real estate such as a home, farm, or commercial property, you may wish to seek assistance from a real estate appraiser. 

A real estate appraiser can accurately identify the worth of a property. This is something you will want to know before making any decisions about how the property should be divided.

If either spouse owns a business, whether big or small, the value of the business must be determined and divided. In some cases, the parties are able to agree on the value of the business. In other cases, however, you will need to hire an expert to do a business valuation.

Vocational experts are often used in high-asset divorces when spousal maintenance is an issue. A vocational expert can provide an assessment of one spouse’s earning potential by evaluating their skills and work experience.

When Should You Hire an Expert for Your High-Asset Divorce Case?  

A Chicago high-asset divorce lawyer can advise you about what experts you may need and at what point you should hire them. Expert witnesses are often hired as professionals in their field to testify at trial. Sometimes, however, experts are required at earlier stages of the divorce proceeding, such as during the discovery process.

In general, you may benefit from having an expert witness give testimony if the facts of the case are difficult to comprehend, specialized knowledge is necessary, or the case involves issues that the judge is not knowledgeable about or does not have prior experience with.

There are several other reasons you may want to hire an expert for your high-asset divorce case. Some common reasons you may seek help from an expert include:

  • You are fighting for custody
  • Spousal support is an issue
  • You or your spouse own a business

Because of the stakes in high-asset divorce cases, one spouse may try to hide assets in order to obtain a more favorable result in the division of property. With large amounts of money on the line, some parties still decide to do this despite the risk of legal penalties. Certain experts such as CPA’s and forensic accountants can assist in uncovering these hidden assets.

What Issues are Involved When Dividing a Business?

Many high-asset divorces include one or more spouses that are business owners. There are some complicated issues that arise when trying to divide assets in high asset divorces involving a business

The first issue is defining the value of the business that may require the assistance of experts such as accountants and business appraisers. A high-asset divorce lawyer can help you with this process and connect you with experts that have experience with this. 

Other issues that often arise when one spouse owns a business is how to divide stock options, retirement accounts, and investment accounts. An experienced high-asset divorce lawyer along with qualified experts can help you to untangle these issues and determine what experts will be useful to you.

How to Choose an Expert in Your High-Asset Divorce?

The financial stakes are high in a high-asset divorce, and you will want to choose an expert that will best serve your interests. It is a good idea to choose an expert who has previous experience testifying in court. Your Chicago high-asset divorce lawyer should be able to help you choose an appropriate expert witness. You may also wish to seek out recommendations from others who have previously gone through a high-asset divorce. Some additional things you will want to consider when choosing an expert witness include the expert’s qualifications and prior experience testifying in court.

When choosing an expert in your high-asset divorce, you will also want to consider cost. When filing a divorce, one of your first questions may be how much does a divorce lawyer cost? The total cost will include not only lawyer fees, but also the cost of mediation and court fees, as well as any fees associated with what experts are needed in high-asset divorce cases. These costs can be much greater in a high-asset divorce because there are often more complicated legal issues and lengthier litigation than in a typical divorce.

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