High profile Family Law cases are often plastered across newspapers and magazines, the television and radio. However much more under the radar than celebrity divorces sit many low income families who are not being given the civil legal aid they need to acquire legal advice and representation. In recent months, this inequality has had more industry attention with members of the court calling for serious revisions of the flawed funding system.
Family Law incorporates a number of sensitive cases including divorce, domestic violence and abuse, forced marriage, asylum cases, child abductions, mental illness and debt. Family Law solicitors are responsible for ensuring justice is delivered for their clients. To do this, solicitors will often call upon a relevant expert witness who can provide expert assessments and potentially uncover substantial and significant evidence. As providers of the UK’s most targeted expert witnesses, we take a look at the types of expert witness that are frequently instructed by Family Law solicitors.
Divorce is difficult for families even before money matters are handled. Ordinarily at the centre of divorce cases is the division of shared assets and debts. Some of these divisions are relatively simple and can be signed off amicably, however others can be more complex particularly where money has been tactically moved around, concealed, or is tied up in domestic assets such as jewellery, art and furniture.
The instruction of a forensic accountant expert witness will not only make the inevitable division process much faster and easier for everyone involved, they will also ensure that a fair division of assets is made.
In Family Law, the appointment of a psychology expert witness can be invaluable. When a married couple decide to file for a divorce, it can be for countless reasons. In the most difficult cases, hidden debts, addictions and substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse, and child abductions will require the assistance of a psychology expert witness.
With vast experience in examining and treating patients with behavioural disorders and mental health problems, and a profound understanding of cognitive function, a clinical psychology expert witness is qualified to ensure that the wellbeing of those involved in the case is prioritised and that fair trial is enabled. Where children are involved, a psychology expert witness will often be required to perform parenting assessments. In doing so they may give their expert opinion on the suitability of the parents to nurture and care for the children involved in separation cases. You can read more about the role of a psychology expert witness here.
Cases involving the wellbeing of a child will be some of the most sensitive. Where it is suspected that a child has been abused, it is essential that a suitably qualified and experienced professional can perform assessments and give their expert evidence and opinion in order to protect the safety of the extremely vulnerable individual. A paediatrician expert witness can provide that service. By making medical assessments of the child, the paediatric expert witness will be able to confirm or challenge the accusations of abuse. Where they can confirm that the child has suffered abuse, they may determine the extent of physical damage to the child as well as the duration of the abuse. Written into a comprehensive paediatric report, the conclusions of the paediatrician expert witness can help the solicitor to build and significantly strengthen their case.
To learn more about the role of an expert witness in a Family Law case, visit our website or get in touch with one of our dedicated case managers who can help you choose the best expert witness for your case.