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The role of witnesses in a divorce case

Jul 6, 2021 | Divorce

Going through a divorce can quickly turn into a complex situation. When you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your assets, the resulting litigation becomes even more critical.

Building your case can depend on critical details that support the ultimate result of your divorce. Part of strengthening your claim can include witnesses who are familiar with the details of your divorce and the reasons your marriage is ending.

Here’s what you should know about the role witnesses can play in your divorce and how they could support your case.

Character witnesses

When courts are looking at a divorcing couple with children, it can make the situation even more complex. A character witness can help demonstrate specific attributes that may (or may not) be in the child’s best interest. Character witnesses can also be beneficial to substantiate allegations of abuse.

As you consider who could be a credible character witness, it is essential to look at it from the court’s perspective. Family members typically are not viewed as credible because they tend to be more biased. Ideally, witnesses will have the first-hand experience with the behavior you are trying to demonstrate, so they tend to be people such as:

  • Close friends
  • Household help, like a nanny or housekeeper
  • Neighbors

Although someone like a coworker may have seen visible signs of stress or heard your accounts of events that happened at home, they have only one side of the story. People who witnessed maltreatment, abuse or other behaviors tend to have a more credible testimony.

Expert witnesses

In some cases, getting a divorce is a mutual decision. Although you may have a conflict regarding how to divide your assets, you both know that it is time for the relationship to end.

Often, spouses may try to hide assets or downplay their value to manipulate the ruling while deciding how to divide the money and property in a divorce. Unfortunately, sometimes you are left not knowing the actual number of assets or their value. You may need an expert witness in these cases, like a forensic accountant, to support your case.

A forensic accountant can analyze the financial data from your spouse and other records to look for inconsistencies. A financial irregularity could mean that there are hidden assets that should be considered during the divorce.

Moving forward

It can be beneficial both emotionally and for the outcome of your divorce to have the support of friends and others who can be witnesses in your divorce case. When you have people who can add credibility to your claims, it can help the court determine how to divide assets and award custody.

Getting started on your case early is critical, so it is essential to talk to an experienced attorney who can help you determine when witnesses are necessary and who would be the best fit for your case.