• calendar2nd Apr 23 11:00 pm
  • userJamie

When to Involve Divorce Experts

Most people find ending their marriage complicated and confusing. They want what is best for everyone, but their spouse may not agree about what that is. This can lead to a judge making the decision for them. In some instances, the divorcing couple or the judge needs more information to make a decision.  Keep in mind that judges aren’t necessarily well-versed or knowledgeable about complex financial issues or even parenting issues.  When that happens, they will often need to bring in divorce experts. But when should they involve these experts? Which experts do they need and how can they find them? If you are planning a divorce and know that you may need a divorce expert, contact the experienced Colorado family law attorneys at Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442. Our legal team help you find the experts you need and determine your next steps.

What Are Divorce Experts?

When many people think of divorce experts, their first thought is often attorneys. While attorneys may be experts on divorce laws, they are not necessarily experts on all the specific details that may need to be addressed during a divorce. A divorce expert is someone with specialized training or knowledge that allows them to provide information that is unavailable, or resolve disputes or confusion for a divorcing couple.

These experts may have training or knowledge related to parenting, finances, real estate, business value, and other important life and financial matters. They can help a divorcing couple work out the details of their divorce by providing information that the average person may not have and cannot quickly determine on their own, such as how much a business is worth or a child’s mental well-being in regard to their parents divorcing.

How Does Divorce Work in Colorado?

To understand how an expert may help in a divorce, there are important details about how divorce works in Colorado to keep in mind. The first is that Colorado is a marital property state. That means all assets and debts the couple acquire while married will be divided equitably between them when they divorce, legally separate, or are granted an annulment. Property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property regardless of how it is titled.

The other detail to remember is that Colorado calls custody “parental responsibility.”  Parental responsibility can be joint or sole between parents. Whether Colorado judges will grant joint or sole parental responsibility depends on numerous factors.

In order to equitably distribute assets and debts, or make a decision regarding parental responsibility that is in the best interests of the children, judges may need additional information. This is where the experts may come into your divorce.

When Should You Involve Divorce Experts?

Colorado does not have any laws that specify what circumstances require an expert or how soon that expert should be involved. Typically, if a divorcing couple knows they will need an expert, they should get them involved as soon as possible. This allows the divorce expert ample time to thoroughly review the situation and make a recommendation. Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help you determine if your divorce would benefit from a divorce expert.

There are many circumstances under which someone may want to hire a divorce expert. A few examples of common situations that often benefit from an expert include:

  • When either spouse has a high net worth
  • If either spouse is self-employed and their income needs to be determined
  • If either spouse owns a business and one or both spouses is uncertain of the business’s value
  • When there is an asset that needs to be traced to determine whether it is separate or marital property
  • When needed to get evidence admitted (for example, a parenting expert such as a CFI or PRE may be able to testify to the child’s state of mind or expressed desires about which parent to live with)
  • If spouses cannot agree and an expert’s opinion can resolve the dispute

What Types of Divorce Experts Are There?

There are many kinds of divorce experts. Some divorces may require the services of more than one expert. Some of the most used experts include parenting, real property, and financial experts.


When a judge is determining parental responsibility, or if one parent argues that the other is unfit, parenting experts can observe and investigate and offer their conclusions and recommendations to help the judge make a decision. These experts may include a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE). A CFI will investigate a specific parenting issue, and according to the Colorado Judicial Branch, will report and make recommendations to the court. A PRE will do a more thorough investigation and may include psychological testing of one or both parents.  Whether a child’s therapist can testify depends on the circumstances.

Real Property

In most divorces, real property experts are appraisers. These are experts who help determine the historical and present-day value of real estate. This can be helpful in cases where the couple cannot decide what to do with the marital home or if they own multiple pieces of real estate.   Real estate can consist of residential and commercial property.


Financial experts can include Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Examples of what may be involved include:

  • Property tracing experts who trace an asset that has changed forms to determine whether it is separate or marital property.
  • Business evaluators will evaluate a spouse’s business to determine its value.
  • Income evaluators consider a self-employed spouse’s occupation to determine their income.
  • Vocational evaluators are helpful for determining a reasonable income for each spouse when deciding things such as spousal maintenance.
  • Trust experts are useful if one or both spouses is a beneficiary to a trust and can determine if there is a property interest in the trust and if so, the value of that interest.

How Do I Find an Expert?

There are many ways to find a divorce expert. Some are more effective than others. Three ways we recommend finding an expert are:

  • Ask your family law attorney: If you have a divorce or family law attorney, they may have experts that they can recommend. Many times, these will be experts they have worked with before. This is where the experience of your attorney matters!
  • Internet search with reviews: Many divorce experts have their own websites with testimonials. You may also find reviews on other sites. When reading negative reviews, remember that in any divorce, one spouse may have been unhappy with the outcome and written a negative review as a result. You may also want to schedule an initial consultation to ask the expert questions before deciding whether to work with them.
  • Asking friends or family for recommendations: If you have friends or family that have gone through a divorce, they may have used an expert that they can refer you to.

Do You Need a Divorce Expert for Your Divorce?

Hiring an expert can have many benefits for your divorce. Their expertise may be able to reduce or eliminate some disputes and help create terms that are best for all involved in your divorce, including your children. Knowing when to involve divorce experts can be a little tricky. If you are concerned about hiring an expert, contact Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to discuss your case, learn about possible next steps and whether hiring an expert may be right for your divorce.