How To Get An Expert Witness To Testify In A Family Law Case

As a Chicago Family Law attorney, it is not unusual to have divorce and child custody clients ask me if they can use an expert witness in their case. The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no” since an expert witness must meet a number of requirements.

Requirements for an Expert Witness in Your Case

Demonstrating Competence and Expertise in the Subject Matter Area

  • education,
  • skill,
  • training,
  • knowledge,
  • practical experience, or all of these.

As a prerequisite for expert testimony, the offered expert must be able to articulate to the court the underlying method and procedures used in formulating his or her opinion(s) on the precise subject matter at issue. Such methods could include hands-on experience, literature review, training, and education. There is no clear rule as to the degree of knowledge needed to qualify an expert in a given area of expertise.

Notification and Qualifying Your Expert Witness

Questions to Qualify Your Witness as an Expert

  • educational degrees held,
  • training and licensing,
  • length of time in the field,
  • positions held in the field, duties and function in the positions,
  • whether or not they teach or lecture in the field of expertise,
  • any Publications in their field,
  • Membership in professional societies/associations/organizations, and special positions within each,
  • Honors, acknowledgments, and awards received in the field.

You may also ask the number of time they have provided testimony in this field. Their curriculum vitae will be testified to and introduced into evidence and you would then request that the Court qualify your witness as an expert in the particular field.

Family Law Judge Will Determine the Scope of the Expert Testimony

  1. The scope of offered expert testimony is such that an ordinary person would need to hear the experts opinion where the ordinary person does not necessarily have the knowledge of the offered subject matter, and
  2. Whether the person offered to give the expert testimony has the necessarily knowledge, training, experience, skill, and expertise in the area where expert testimony is offered.

If you are facing a family law or divorce case and have questions about the trial process be sure to speak with a trusted and experienced family law attorney. We invite you to contact Anderson & Boback to schedule a consultation to discuss your family law or divorce matter including any questions you may have about using an expert witness in your case.


When Everything Is On The Line, You Need An Attorney You Can Trust, That Will Advocate & Fight For Your Family! We Can Help!

When Everything Is On The Line, You Need An Attorney You Can Trust, That Will Advocate & Fight For Your Family! We Can Help!