Do I Need a Forensic Accountant for My Divorce?

Divorce can be an emotionally turbulent time, fraught with difficult decisions and intricate financial matters. When it comes to the division of assets, determining alimony, and uncovering hidden financial information, the services of a forensic accountant can be invaluable.

In this blog post, we'll explore the situations in which your divorce lawyer may recommend hiring a forensic accountant as an expert witness during your divorce proceedings.

Understanding the Role of a Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants specialize in investigating financial records to uncover discrepancies, hidden assets, or fraudulent activities. Their skill lies in analyzing complex financial data, tracing funds, and providing expert testimony in court.

The following are situations in which a forensic accountant may be necessary.

Complex Financial Portfolios

In cases where one or both spouses have complex financial portfolios, including investments, multiple properties, business interests, or offshore accounts, a forensic accountant can untangle the intricate web of finances. They can trace the flow of money, identify undisclosed assets, and ensure that all marital property is accounted for in the divorce settlement.

Uncovering Hidden Assets

Unfortunately, some spouses may attempt to conceal assets to minimize their financial obligations during divorce proceedings. This can include transferring funds to offshore accounts, underreporting income, or undervaluing assets. A forensic accountant has the skills and resources to uncover hidden assets through meticulous analysis of financial records, bank statements, tax returns, and other documentation.

Tracing Wasteful Dissipation

In some cases, one spouse may engage in marital waste or fraudulent activities in an attempt to dissipate marital assets or defraud the other spouse. This can include excessive spending, gambling losses, or fraudulent transfers of assets. A forensic accountant can uncover evidence of such activities and assist in pursuing legal remedies to ensure that both parties receive their fair share of the marital estate.

Business Valuation

When one or both spouses own a business, accurately valuing the company’s worth is crucial for equitable distribution of assets. A forensic accountant can conduct a thorough valuation of the business, taking into account factors such as revenue, assets, liabilities, and future earning potential. This can ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the business's value and can negotiate a fair settlement.

Determining Income for Support Purposes

In cases where one spouse is self-employed or receives income from sources other than traditional employment, accurately determining their income for alimony or child support purposes can be challenging. A forensic accountant can analyze financial records, business receipts, and tax returns to assess the true income of the spouse and ensure that support payments are fair and equitable.

Contact a Divorce Attorney to Learn More

If you think any of the above reasons to hire a forensic accountant resonate with your divorce, it’s important to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer. As your guide through the divorce process, your attorney can provide you with the legal advice and services you need to accurately ascertain your need to hire a financial expert to assist with your divorce.

Rest assured that can offer such guidance and legal representation. If we determine that a forensic accountant’s services could benefit your case, we can help you find a qualified professional.

Learn more about your legal options by contacting Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office today.


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