Case appraisals are often used in property and financial disputes. The process involves the participation of an independent third party who is provided with all the relevant information and asking for an opinion on a likely outcome if the dispute should reach court action.
Case appraisal is meant to assess the merits of a case and is a way of determining whether a client has a strong enough case that will most likely be favourably decided by a court. Case appraisals can also guide the parties in their preparation for filing a court application and in the conduct of a trial because the process usually includes receiving advice on what evidence needs to be presented in court.
In the practice of family law, case appraisals are conducted by the lawyer of a party engaging the services of an expert, such as a financial expert or an accountant, to conduct the appraisal. In family law, the case appraisal is not a court process because it is conducted upon the initiative of a party who is still contemplating on whether to file a court application or not.
A case appraisal is appropriate in instances when