Financial matters are frequently a source of disagreement between people during their marriages, so it is little surprise that disputes about property can be a real issue in modern divorces as well. Couples either have to agree on how to divide their property or provide information to the courts so that a judge can split their belongings and debts.
Whether you are about to sit down for mediation with your ex or you need to prepare documentation for a litigated divorce, accurate financial information is crucial. You can only lay claim to the assets that you know about, after all.
Especially in cases involving high-asset marriages and couples that own complex assets, the help of a forensic accountant may be necessary during the preparation stage before divorce hearings.
What is a forensic accountant?
A forensic accountant is a financial professional with the same skills as the typical accountant. They are capable of balancing corporate checkbooks, issuing payroll funds and filing quarterly tax returns. They also have additional training and experience in the analysis of financial records.
Forensic accountants can play a role in both criminal court cases and civil matters. They can go over household financial records to find evidence of dissipation by one spouse or indication of hidden assets, like secret bank accounts. They may be able to spot discrepancies in household financial documents and income tax returns that indicate one spouse may have long hidden property from the other.
Their services can be crucial if you suspect that your ex has undisclosed bank accounts or has intentionally wasted your marital resources by conducting an extramarital affair.
How forensic accountants help
Depending on your concerns when you hire a forensic accountant, their services can achieve several crucial goals as you prepare for divorce.
If they locate records that indicate your ex has hidden assets that they did not disclose to you or the courts, you can provide that information to the courts and ask them to adjust property division decisions accordingly. If they produce records of financial spending that constitutes dissipation, those records could also influence how the courts divide your property or whether they hold you accountable for specific debts.
Connecting with the right professional support as you prepare for a high-asset divorce will lead to a more appropriate and fair outcome for property division proceedings.