the expert provides information and expertise essential to the resolution of a family law case.
who hires and pays the expert?
The expert will make a report and may be called on as a witness.
Experts are sometimes called upon to provide expert testimony in family law cases. Experts like psychologists, psychiatrists, accountants, financial advisers, valuers or assessors and counsellors provide invaluable service whenever the court is confronted with a case that requires the expertise of these persons. It is the primary goal of a court to arrive at a just decision that is why it will need all the information it can get.
Definitely the payment of an expert will be charged to the parties or to either one of them. As for hiring, it depends. Parties can jointly apply to the court for the appointment of an expert. The court also may on its own initiative appoint an expert.
Regardless of who pays or hires the expert, the latter’s duty is to the court. Expect that the expert will be very objective and impartial in his reports and when he testifies. The expert will not be giving preferential treatment to either party.
The expert will be making a report and will be testifying in court about how he arrived with his findings in the report. Investigations, interviews of the parties and research will be conducted by the expert. The expert will also inspect the documents and evidence of each party.
The written report will be attached to his affidavit. The expert must strictly stick to the issues in dispute that have been identified by the court.
The report will be furnished to the parties if they were the ones who appointed the expert. It will be then up to them to file the report with the court.
If the expert was appointed by the court, the former will file his report with the Registry Manager who is in charge of sending copies to the parties. The parties then have to file it with the court.
The report must contain all the information required by Rule 15.63 of the Family Law Rules. Briefly, the expert is required to state his qualifications, the conclusions reached and the basis for these conclusions. The reasons for the conclusions must be supported by stating the methodology used, the literature or references, facts within the expert’s knowledge, relevant facts and assumptions on which the report is based, and reliance of the expert on tests, investigations or experiments.
The expert must disclose in his report if there is an issue that is outside of his expertise, if his opinion is not conclusive because it requires further study, or if the report is inaccurate or incomplete due to certain reasons.
The expert may be cross examined in accordance with Rule 15.50. Notice must be sent to the expert if he is requested to be cross examined.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.