What is a Single Joint Expert (SJE)?

Chris Sweetman
Chris Sweetman
Editor at The Divorce Magazine
Director at Fair Result

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, especially when it involves the valuation of shared assets. One crucial element that often comes into play is the role of a Single Joint Expert (SJE). In this FAQ guide, we’ll delve into what an SJE is, why they are important, and how they can help streamline your divorce proceedings.

What is a Single Joint Expert (SJE)?

A Single Joint Expert (SJE) is an independent expert appointed jointly by both parties in a divorce case to provide an impartial valuation or assessment of shared assets. This expert is usually agreed upon by both parties and approved by the court. The SJE’s role is to offer a neutral perspective, ensuring that both parties receive a fair and accurate evaluation of their assets, which can include properties, businesses, and other significant financial interests.

Why is an SJE Important in Divorce Proceedings?

  1. Neutral and Unbiased Opinion: An SJE provides an objective assessment, which helps to prevent disputes and ensures that neither party feels disadvantaged.
  2. Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness: By using a single expert agreed upon by both parties, the process becomes more streamlined and can reduce the overall costs compared to each party hiring their own expert.
  3. Court Approval: The court often prefers the use of SJEs because their involvement can lead to quicker resolutions, reducing the court’s workload and encouraging settlements outside of court.
  4. Clarity and Precision: SJEs are experts in their fields, providing detailed and accurate valuations that can withstand scrutiny from both parties and the court.

How is an SJE Appointed?

The appointment of an SJE typically follows these steps:

  1. Agreement Between Parties: Both parties must agree on the need for an SJE and select a suitable expert.
  2. Terms of Reference: The scope of the SJE’s work is defined in a document called the terms of reference, which outlines what the expert is expected to evaluate and report on.
  3. Court Approval: The agreed-upon expert and the terms of reference are then submitted to the court for approval.
  4. SJE’s Report: The SJE conducts their evaluation and provides a detailed report to both parties and the court.

What Happens After the SJE’s Report?

Once the SJE’s report is submitted, both parties have the opportunity to review and discuss the findings. If there are any disagreements or additional clarifications needed, these can be addressed through further questions or discussions with the SJE. Ultimately, the report serves as a key piece of evidence in reaching a financial settlement.

Final Thoughts

At Fair Result, we understand the complexities of divorce and the importance of accurate asset valuation. Our team is experienced in working with SJEs and can guide you through the process to ensure a fair and equitable outcome.

Read more articles by Chris Sweetman.

About Chris Sweetman

Chris Sweetman is an independent family solicitor and director of Fair Result – An award-winning law office who pride themselves on using innovative ways to help clients through the stress and complications of a marriage break down.

Chris can be contacted on 07500933818 or via email chris@fair-result.co.uk.

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