The answer to the question posed above is that witnesses could be crucial in a divorce. They may have valuable insights and opinions that help individuals and courts make a range of decisions.
That said, witnesses are not involved in every divorce. So, when are witnesses important?
When there are significant assets involved
Provincial laws require parties to divide property acquired during a marriage equally between divorcing spouses. This undertaking involves valuations, audits and calculating equalization payments.
The more sophisticated your assets and liability are, the more complex this process can be. Thus, parties may need to rely on the testimony of financial experts and professionals, including:
- Forensic accountants
- Real estate brokers
- Business appraisers
People in these roles have skills, education, training or experience in a specific field to understand and explain complex financial matters that arise in complicated divorces.
When parents cannot agree on child-related issues
Parents may know their children better than anyone else, but that does not mean they are always the right people to make arrangements regarding parenting time and decision-making responsibilities.
When parents cannot agree on what is best for a child, expert witness testimony can be vital. These parties can include:
- Social workers
- Child psychologists
- Custody professionals
These witnesses can provide informed opinions on what is in a child’s best interests regarding family legal matters.
When someone’s character is under fire
Witnesses need not be experts to provide valuable input in a legal matter. Character witnesses can also play a crucial role in a divorce.
For instance, you may call on:
- Loved ones (in some cases)
- Babysitters or nannies
- Managers or co-workers
These parties can give insight into what someone is like outside of court. They might have information on their temperament, behaviours and relationships.
Character and expert witnesses can be crucial components of the evidence parties present in family law trials. Knowing what purpose they serve and when they may be especially valuable is another tool that you can use to prepare for your divorce.