In a complicated divorce case, it may be wise to have a forensic accountant to go through the financial records of the other spouse. Even in an amicable divorce, there may be assets such as a closely held business or stock options that may be difficult to put a dollar value on. There are times when a forensic accountant may need to hire a specialist to help with his or her work.
An accountant may be able to determine which property is properly classified as marital property and which property is separate property. This is important because marital property is subject to division by the judge following equitable distribution principles while separate property in general remains the property of the owner.
A forensic accountant may be able to find assets that are hidden or partially hidden just by looking at financial records. This is because many people may try to hide assets in a manner that passes the scrutiny of a spouse but not the trained eye of a financial specialist. For example, if a spouse attempts to transfer funds to a dummy corporation or tries to create fake debt, a professional may recognize these tactics as attempts to hide income.
In a divorce involving valuable assets, it may be tempting to shield such assets from being divided. Talking to a family law attorney may help an individual find specialists who may be able to help put that person in the best possible financial situation after a divorce. An attorney may also be able to assist an individual getting a divorce in his or attempt to obtain spousal or child support if necessary.
Source: Forbes, “Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team“, Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014