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The Benefits and Risks of Using Witnesses During a Divorce Case

Posted on in Divorce

The Benefits and Risks of Using Witnesses During a Divorce CaseIt is rare that you will need to call on a witness to testify in your divorce case. You and your spouse can settle most divorce issues without involving someone else in the process. Divorce attorneys commonly gather third-party information when preparing for your divorce. They can use a court order to compel a noncompliant party to provide information without needing them to testify in court. You are more likely to need a witness when you are fighting over parental responsibility for your children or accusing your spouse of misconduct.

Using Witnesses

There are two types of witnesses that can be useful in a divorce case:

  • A character witness who can speak personally about you or your spouse; and
  • An expert witness on a topic that is relevant to your divorce.

Character witnesses are people who have observed or interacted with you, your spouse or your children. Family members are not convincing character witnesses because they often have a bias towards one of the parties. Close friends, neighbors, work colleagues, and childcare givers are common character witnesses who can speak to your good character or your spouse’s poor character.

An expert witness could be a guardian ad litem, child psychologist or other trained professionals who can speak with authority about their area of expertise. They may study you, your spouse or your children in order to give their professional opinion and make a recommendation to the court. An expert witness may require compensation for their time and services on your case.

Risks Involved

Using a subpoena can require any witness to appear and testify in court, but you cannot control what they will say. A character witness that you expect to support your case may refute your arguments or side with your spouse. Your spouse’s attorney will also have the opportunity to question the witness, which they can use to discredit the witness’s testimony or force them to answer questions that may help your spouse. In some cases, you have just as much to lose as you do to gain by calling a witness.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Attorney

The most sensible reason to not call a witness during your divorce is that it is an unnecessary use of time and resources. Witness testimony extends the duration of your time in court, which will increase the cost of your divorce. A skilled Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can obtain the evidence you need for your case through documentation and conversations. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=12400000&SeqEnd=14900000

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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