After 12 years of marriage, Blake usually knew when his wife Amanda was lying. Or, at least, he knew enough to be suspicious. The problem was proving it. Blake was especially concerned because he had just filed for divorce and knew he needed help. He and his attorney considered all the reasons they might want to hire a forensic accountant.
Analyzing and Corroborating Financial Information
A forensic accountant has the training and experience to do a deep dive into your finances. He or she can analyze your spouse’s financial disclosures and other property-related records more thoroughly than you can. They know what should be in the record and what should not be.
Identifying and Locating Hidden Assets
For example, many spouses try to hide assets from their spouses during a divorce. A forensic accountant is adept at searching and finding property that might otherwise be overlooked.
Untangling Business Interests
Business assets are often difficult to divide during the property division phase of a divorce. Experts like a forensic accountant can give you a clearer picture of how much a business is worth in terms of community property or separate property.
Calculating Potential Child Support and Spousal Support
It is necessary to understand the parties’ finances before agreeing on child support and spousal support. If the parties cannot agree, a family court judge could use your forensic accountant’s reports when calculating support payments.
Performing Traces to Characterize Property
Separate property belongs to only one spouse. Community property belongs to both spouses. However, sometimes the situation is murky, and it becomes difficult to decide whether property is separate, community, or quasi-community. Forensic accountants might have to trace back through financial records to determine how much of an asset should be divided between the parties.
Assisting and Advising Legal Counsel
Even the most experienced divorce attorney needs expert advice sometimes. Your forensic accountant provides an extra level of scrutiny to financial affairs, leaving your attorney free to deal with the legal issues.
Reporting and Testifying
Finally, your forensic accountant can be invaluable when it comes time to present his or her findings to the court. A well-written report based on factual evidence might go a long way toward helping your attorney get the best property division possible.