Expert Testimony in Divorce Actions
People ending their marriage often have discordant views on issues such as property rights, the value of their assets, and whether alimony is appropriate. As such, they will typically offer conflicting testimony on such issues in any proceedings conducted in their divorce cases. While parties involved in divorce actions can offer their own opinions on most disputed issues, testimony from qualified experts may increase their chances of obtaining rulings in their favor and may be necessary on complex or technical issues. If you or your spouse want to end your marriage, it is advisable to speak to an attorney about the use of expert testimony in divorce actions and whether such testimony could aid you in pursuing your desired outcome. At McClure Law Group, our skilled Dallas divorce lawyers regularly retain experts to testify on behalf of our clients, and, if we represent you, we will discuss with you whether expert testimony could benefit your case.Expert Qualifications
The Texas Rules of Evidence define who is permitted to testify as an expert and what opinions they may offer. Specifically, the Rules dictate that only people who are qualified due to their skills, training, experience, education, or knowledge can offer expert testimony on specialized topics, but only if it will help the judge or jury determine a factual dispute or understand the evidence presented by the parties. Further, expert testimony must be based on a reliable foundation and must be relevant. As such, a party can argue that a person should not be permitted to testify as an expert either because they lack the requisite qualifications or because their opinion is unsound or irrelevant.Forensic Accountants
In Texas divorce actions, the parties will often dispute which party can claim ownership rights over an asset. While in some instances, establishing the character of a property is a straightforward process, in others, it can be complicated. For example, it can be difficult to determine the nature of an asset that was once the separate property of one spouse but was transmuted to a community asset, or if the parties commingle separate and community assets. In such instances, the parties may need to hire forensic accountants to trace the nature of the property back to its origins and determine each party’s interest.Business and Property Appraisers
It may also be beneficial to offer expert testimony in divorce actions in which the parties own a business or residence. In most instances, one party will buy the other’s interest in the business, but the parties will often have disparate opinions over how much the company is worth. As such, they may hire appraisers to offer testimony regarding its value. Similarly, if the parties disagree over the fair market value of the marital home or other real estate, they may need to hire a property appraiser to testify on their behalf.Vocational Experts
In cases in which the divorcing parties have a child together, either party may make a claim for child support. Such awards are based, in part, on each party’s income and earning potential. If one party refuses to work or is under-employed, though, the courts may choose to use their imputed rather than actual income. As such, it may become necessary for a party to hire a vocational expert to establish the other party’s earning potential in hopes of convincing the court to issue a more favorable ruling.Meet With an Experienced Dallas Attorney
The outcome of a divorce case can hinge on the evidence presented at trial, and in some instances, it may be wise for a party to hire experts to bolster their case. If you want to learn more about the use of expert testimony in divorce actions, it is wise to meet with an attorney as soon as possible.
The experienced Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are proficient at helping people protect their interests in divorce proceedings, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue the best legal result available under the facts of your case. Our main office is in Dallas, and we are able to meet clients for conferences at our Collin-County office in Plano. We frequently represent people in divorce cases in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We also represent people in family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or using our form online to set up a confidential meeting.