Ask the Advisor – A Financial Expert’s Role in a Divorce
Q. I am in the initial phase of a divorce. My Attorney indicated that I need to retain a qualified expert. What will that person do to assist me in the divorce process?
In most divorce matters, a qualified financial expert is retained to value any businesses owned by the parties, plus assist with compiling the marital assets and liabilities, determining the income for support, and assisting at mediation and trial.
Once documents are available, the qualified financial expert prepares preliminary business valuations, a summary of the marital estate and the income available for support. There may be claims of separate property which require some level of asset tracing. Once this stage is complete, the attorneys set a date for mediation. The mediator may want to meet with the experts for both sides to see if there is any way to move toward a compromised settlement.
If the case settles at mediation (as most do), qualified financial experts may also assist with preparing the settlement agreement. If the case does not settle, then they prepare for trial. At trial, the experts will testify as to their opinions on all items of analysis prepared.
Doeren Mayhew’s qualified financial experts within our dedicated Valuation and Litigation Support Group assist counsel from filing the complaint, to executing the settlement agreement and judgment of divorce. Having the right team matters during the divorce process, so it essential to secure the appropriate advisor.
Bruce Knapp is a Shareholder in Doeren Mayhew’s Valuation and Litigation Group in Michigan and can be reached at 248.244.3000. For more information on valuing your business, contact our valuation and litigation support specialists.