Who Can Be a Witness in a Divorce Case?
Going through a divorce can be a stressful and overwhelming process, especially if the other party is being deceitful or not fully forthcoming in their claims against you. One method that many individuals rely on as they proceed through their cases is the use of witness testimony. Witnesses can serve several purposes if a divorce case goes to trial. Read on to learn more about the importance of witnesses and why you might want to consider them for your case.
Why Are Witnesses Used in a Divorce Case?
Witnesses can serve several purposes during divorce proceedings. In the most literal role, a witness can testify about an event they saw happen. If they’ve witnessed verbal, physical, and other abuse suffered by one party at the hands of the other, that testimony can help build an individual’s case. In cases like this, a witness does not have to be an individual you know on a personal level. For example, they can be individuals in public who witnessed the physical abuse firsthand. Although they might be a stranger, they can be a powerful witness, nonetheless.
A character witness can also prove helpful to your case as they play the role of an individual who will testify on behalf of your character. These types of witnesses are usually individuals you know on a personal level. They can include friends, co-workers, and even family members who can testify on your behalf.
It’s also important to have the right witnesses testify on your behalf. For example, if your divorce proceedings also involve child custody discussions, you’ll want a witness who can speak to your role as a parent. Parents who are seeking to obtain physical custody of their child can benefit from having witnesses speak on the type of environment they provide for their child.
What Do Divorce Trial Witnesses Testify About?
Witnesses, especially character witnesses, have an intimate knowledge of who you are as a person, your personality, your behavior, and of course your marriage and relationship. Because of this intimate knowledge, character witnesses can shed light on their observations of the relationship, observations that can help strengthen your case during trial.
Some of the issues a witness may bring up in trial can include but are not limited to the following:
- Shed light on existing issues in your marriage as they have observed it
- Testify about your personality, morals, character traits, and overall behavior In different situations
- Describe you as a parent and the environment you are able to provide for your child
- Recount conversations that you have shared with the witness
What Is an Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses are individuals who hold a high level of credibility and expertise in their area. As a result, their testimony is often heavily weighted because of its credibility. In some divorce proceedings, it can help to have an expert witness testify on your behalf. This expert witness can be someone you know personally, or it can be an individual you have worked with for financial planning or other professional capacities. They can also be strangers called in to examine a person or documents and render their professional opinion based on their years of experience and credentials. Examples of expert witnesses can include the following:
- Forensic accountants
- Medical professionals including Physicians and Pediatricians
- Social workers
Having an expert witness testify on your behalf is either done to help prove your case, or to disprove the arguments the other party might bring up at trial. If you do plan on using an expert witness, it’s important to consult with a divorce lawyer to make sure that you’re choosing an expert witness who can help your case.
Who Can Be a Witness in a Divorce Case?
Witnesses can be both strangers and individuals you know. The point of a witness is to tell a court their understanding of you, your spouse, your relationship, and anything else that might be beneficial to proving your case. Witnesses can include but are not limited to the following individuals:
- Coworkers and business partners
- Household employees like a nanny, gardeners, or maid
- Family members
- Strangers if they’ve observed physical abuse or the sale of an asset at a devalued price
Choosing the Right Witness for Your Divorce Trial
As you prepare for trial, it is imperative that you select good witnesses that can help strengthen your case. Good witnesses are reliable, credible, trustworthy, and objective in their opinion.
When you are navigating a divorce, the overwhelming experience of it all can make it difficult to select witnesses that will help your case. Simply relying on someone you know because they offer a pillar of support during your divorce is not a good enough reason to have them testify on your behalf. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate this road.