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Use of Experts


Summary:  An expert is often used to provide an independent professional opinion on such issues as parenting and small business financials. The cost of experts is another reason to settle your own case. However, sometimes you have no choice if you have to go to a hearing and an expert opinion is needed. Just be prepared to pay for it, financially and otherwise. You may be able to hire just one expert, instead of two, if you mediate.


The Use of Experts at a Colorado Divorce Trial

Expert witnesses may be hired whenever an independent professional opinion is needed for issues such as:

1. Parenting responsibilities and parenting time (fitness and best interests) by a CFI;;

2. Value of real estate;

3. Value of defined benefit pension plan assets;

4. Value of stock options;

5. Value of a small business; and

6. Earning capacity of one of the spouses.

The most frequently-used expert is the “child and family investigator.” This expert used to be called “special advocate.” The objective is to evaluate parenting skills and parenting abilities of both parents.

If the case is going to be decided at a court hearing, then often both sides will hire their own experts (except for the child and family investigator.) Then there are often 2 experts testifying as to each issue. That is costly and generally ends up being a battle between the experts.

Since an expert may charge $5,000 or more to evaluate the case and testify as to just one specific disputed issue, the cost of a court hearing is greatly increased when experts are used.

Although sometimes one or more experts must be used, the better solution is to negotiate a resolution of any disputed issues. This will reduce the cost and speed up the process.

Or, the parties may be able to hire just one independent expert. This is usually the case if mediation is used.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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