In a divorce, the most common professionals that come to mind are family law attorneys.
When a divorce is complex or there are high-value assets involved, there may be a need for other trained professionals. Here is a glossary of some of the professionals that could assist:
Divorce coaches help clients set and achieve goals, make decisions and transition to life after the divorce. A divorce coach is not a therapist or a counselor, although he or she might be licensed as one. A divorce coach is not an attorney and does not offer legal advice.
Custody evaluators are court-appointed mental health professionals who assess the family and make a recommendation to the court for a custody, visitation or parenting plan. Custody evaluators are normally psychologists. Sometimes these professionals are called “social study evaluators.”
Attorney Ad Litem
An Attorney Ad Litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent and/or act on behalf of a party who cannot represent himself, such as a child or an incapacitated adult.
Guardian Ad Litem
A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of a child or incapacitated person in a divorce. A guardian ad litem is not an attorney. A guardian ad litem is only appointed when the court has reason to believe their services are necessary.
A Parenting Coordinator is appointed by the court to help divorced or divorcing parents resolve issues involving their children, including creating their parenting plans. Parenting Coordinators are licensed counselors, therapists, social workers or attorneys who have received specialized training in conflict resolution, family dynamics, family law and child development. These professionals work with high-conflict families, helping parents make joint decisions about education, health care, extracurricular activities and other matters. The work of a Parenting Coordinator is confidential, meaning that the Parenting Coordinator cannot be called to testify in court about their sessions with the family.
A Parenting Facilitator is like a Parenting Coordinator, but with one big difference. A Parenting Facilitator’s work is not confidential. They may testify and make recommendations to the court about matters about the best interest of the child, excluding conservatorship, support or possession modifications.
A business valuator is an accountant who specializes in determining the value of both large and small businesses.
Certified Public Accountant
A certified public accountant, or CPA, is a licensed accountant qualified to assist with tax preparation and planning, financial planning and financial management.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
Certified divorce financial analysts are financial professionals trained specifically to assist with divorce finances, taxes and the division of property.
A forensic accountant is a licensed accountant trained to examine and interpret intricate financial issues and present them to the court. A forensic accountant is useful in a complex or high asset divorce where one party is suspected of fraud or of hiding assets.
Appraisers calculate the value of marital assets. Some specialize in real estate, others in items such as antiques, art or collectibles.
Computer Forensics Analyst
A computer forensics analyst is specially trained to retrieve information and data from computers and other electronic devices in a way that allows them to be presented as evidence in court.
A private investigator, or PI, is trained in the area of investigations and may be hired to perform surveillance or to gather information in a highly contentious divorce.
A mediator is a specially trained, neutral third party who meets with the divorcing spouses and their attorneys to try and settle the issues in the case without going to court.
In a divorce case, a receiver takes possession and control of assets per a court order. Receivers are rare in divorce proceedings, but could be appointed in a situation where assets are at risk of being exhausted, disposed of or transferred beyond the power of the court. An example would be a business. A receiver might be appointed to take control of the business rather than allow one or both of the divorcing spouses to continue operating it, especially if the couple is combative and argumentative.
Tessmer Law Firm, PLLC regularly works with professionals like these to provide our clients with the best services possible. We are committed to the best interests of our clients and their children. If you are thinking about divorce, call us today at 210-368-9708 and schedule a consultation.