After you make the important decision of selecting an attorney to represent you in your divorce, it is quite possible that your attorney will need other team members to assist you in achieving the best possible outcome.
The most common assistance will be a real estate appraiser. For many couples, the marital residence will be the most valuable marital asset. As such, it is critical that both parties have as accurate a value as possible to present to the court. This is not a situation where you want to settle with the best guess, because if you miss by tens of thousands of dollars, it could literally cost you.
In cases where a spouse suspects the other spouse may have secreted or dissipated assets, it may be necessary to retain a forensic accountant. In this situation, the forensic accountant works like a detective to determine if money does not “add up” and if so, where the missing money may have gone.
In cases where one or both spouses own a business and that part of that business qualifies as a marital asset, it will be critical to hire a business evaluator to determine the true value of the business. The business-owning spouse will want to value the business as low as possible, and it will require an expert with experience to provide an accurate valuation.
In cases where one spouse has been out of the workforce and seeks either maintenance or child support, the court will need a good idea of the income that spouse could earn. Rather than simply have the court guess, you will want to have a vocational expert to evaluate what the non-working spouse could earn upon sufficient reentry to the workforce.
In cases where one or both spouses have significant medical issues that could impact employment or support, you will likely need a medical expert to evaluate just how potentially disabled the other spouse could be. If you do not counter the medical evidence provided by the impaired spouse, you could be hit hard financially in a settlement.
Finally, it is wise to always consult with a financial advisor to discuss how different divisions of marital assets will impact long-term financial planning.
As you can see, a well-designed divorce may require a team effort across multiple professions.
If you have questions about who should be on your divorce team, contact us – we can help.