If your divorce involves a high-net worth individual or business, you might need to hire an expert witness. These strangers’ opinions could have a dramatic impact on your case. How do you know if you need one? What should you expect if your spouse hires one?
Who are these experts?
Maryland law is very specific about the identity and the services of expert witnesses. These experts must have qualifications that make them an expert in their field, their knowledge must be appropriate to their testimony and factual evidence must support their testimony.
Generally, there are two types of witnesses. These include:
- Non-testifying experts: They provide written statements, recorded videos, recorded speeches or other evidence for the case. They are not called to trial or paid for their time travelling to or from the trial. They might remain anonymous.
- Testifying experts: They provide in-person oral statements regarding evidence related to the case. Their identity and summarized expertise could be a matter of court record. They might be interrogated or cross-examined. They are paid.
Experts can be court-appointed or hired privately. If you hire an expert, even if they never make it to the witness stand, you will need to pay them for their travel and their time. Your spouse’s legal team or your legal team might be able to challenge an expert and their testimony to be dismissed.
What kind of experts are relevant to your case?
Your case might need an expert witness on an unexpected topic. Usually, these center around medical, financial, tax, property, children or other matters. These could include:
- Therapist or psychologist
- Medical professional
- Property appraiser
- Financial forensic investigator
- Vocational (Occupational) income expert
As every divorce is unique, it is impossible to list all the different people or topics on which you could call in an expert. However, their testimony could be essential to securing the maximum amount you are owed in your divorce.