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The role of expert testimony in spousal support determinations

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Alimony, Family Law

Whether because of the actual legal fees and costs associated with the process itself, or as a result of the lifestyle changes living apart will produce, divorce is frequently a very expensive proposition. Fortunately, when it comes to determinations of spousal support, often referred to as alimony, there are mechanisms in place to help lower-earning New Jersey spouses afford the professional assistance they need to ensure a fair and equitable settlement.

Expert testimony in divorce cases

Though the concept of expert testimony may conjure thoughts of medical malpractice or product liability matters, it can also play a substantial role in marital dissolution disputes. There are numerous areas of contention in a divorce that may require formal evaluation by professionals with specialized or technical knowledge, including:

  • Asset valuation
  • Future earning capacity of one or both spouses
  • Cost of living projections
  • Transferability of vocational skills to new employment opportunities
  • Work life expectancy
  • Local job market conditions

As is often the case when it comes to accessing this type of high-level expertise, the price tag for expert testimony in divorce matters tends to be significant. The good news for low-earning or historically stay-at-home spouses is the fact that under certain conditions, judges can and regularly do order one of the parties to pay retainer amounts necessary to secure such vital information for proper determination of fair alimony amounts in divorce.

Achieving justice in asset division and support matters

It is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to have divergent earning histories over the course of the marriage, particularly when one partner has chosen to stay home to raise young children and has put their own career on the backburner. As such, an expert, third-party assessment is essential for evaluating that person’s likely ability to begin earning a living on their own, how long that may take and how much earning potential they realistically possess.