When Hiring A Forensic Accountant Can Be Helpful In Divorce
Divorce is stressful and complicated enough without having to worry about whether or not your soon-to-be-ex is trying to cheat you out of what is rightfully yours. If that is a realistic concern, it may be worthwhile to work with a forensic accountant, who is trained to look in all the right places to discover hidden assets.
Understanding Forensic Accounting
When financial matters are brought before a court, forensic accountants may be used to ensure that the numbers being presented are accurate. That requires the proper valuation of assets, including businesses. Additionally, it often entails tracing the origins of income, as well as where that income ended up. Forensic accountants are skilled accountants, auditors, and investigators. They may be used to resolve disputes over economic matters of all kinds, and may even discover instances of fraud or money laundering. They are particularly helpful when one partner is an independent contractor or when one or both partners own a business. One of their primary jobs is to support litigation and help complex and/or high-dollar divorces come to equitable resolutions. In a nutshell, they:
- Assess the value of assets to be divided, from pensions to businesses and property;
- Explain the tax ramifications of the property division;
- Achieve complete financial disclosure from those reluctant to identify their assets in a divorce;
- Provide testimony in court.
What Can be Gleaned from Information Retrieved by the Expert?
Just about everything is impacted by finances in divorce. The real value of assets can have a direct impact on many issues, including:
- The amount of child support awarded;
- The ways in which property is divided;
- The way in which business holdings are addressed;
- The amount of spousal support—if any—is awarded.
Couples involved in highly contentious divorces, or those that involve multiple assets that are spread among a variety of investments may find that using a forensic accountant to assist with the identification and assessment of those assets is critical for a fair shake. Couples with a high net worth, in particular, will likely need help examining collectables, portfolios, businesses, retirement plans, life insurance, deferred compensation plans, and more. If one partner is on the shady side, a forensic accountant may have to uncover shell corporations that are being set up to hide assets, hidden properties, and other questionable holdings. A forensic accountant is adept with these kinds of shenanigans, and can make comparisons between tax returns, bank accounts, investment portfolios, and living expenses to determine the true value of assets that are to be divided.
Proceeding with Confidence
The experienced and knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman are prepared to enlist the services of reliable forensic accountants when necessary in order to ensure a fair settlement for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.