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Do You Need a Forensic Accountant During Your Divorce?

Divorce word in a dictionary
Divorce is a complex process, particularly when it comes to the financial components. One goal of a divorce is to settle your assets and marital property. Your divorce attorney is able to deal with the financial divisions of divorce, but some cases call for a specialized forensic accountant. The following are some things you need to know about forensic accountants and if you could benefit.

What Is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant is a person who practices a specialized area of accounting in which the practitioner complies, analyzes, and investigates financial documents for the purpose of using them in a court of law. Forensic accountants provide expert evidence when necessary.

Forensic accountants practice with a variety of clients, including corporate bankruptcy, tax fraud, and money laundering. However, forensic accountants are routinely used in marital and family law issues as well. The goal of the forensic accountant in family law is to analyze the financial lifestyles for the purpose of helping determine the final divorce settlement.  

Why Do You Need a Forensic Accountant?

Your divorce attorney may consult a forensic accountant when you have a significantly complex or problematic financial circumstance. The forensic accountant will assist in uncovering any financial information which can impact important parts of the divorce settlement, including alimony, child support, and dividing debt and assets.

While forensic accountants are mostly used for situations with very high assets, anyone who has a particularly troublesome financial situation will find their assistance helpful.

If you suspect your spouse has a number of accounts you do not know about or is spending your money on items or other people without your knowledge, you will benefit from a forensic accountant.

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?

A forensic accountant has many specialties. Among others, a forensic accountant will search for hidden assets, check for inconsistencies in your financial documents and accounts, help determine your expenses, and inventory your expensive property, such as expensive artwork or jewelry.

A forensic accountant will also appraise properties and help assess the impact of your divorce settlement over time. To get a good accounting of your finances, the forensic accountant will thoroughly review your tax documents, deeds, credit statements, personal loan statements, investment documents, stocks, and any other asset you have.

If he or she finds any odd trends, inconsistencies, or numbers that do not belong, the accountant will record the information and investigate. Once complied, the accountant will provide you and your attorney with an accounting of his or her findings.

In some cases, a forensic accountant will testify in court, particularly when the claims are egregious or will significantly impact the divorce settlement.

Before you divorce a contentious spouse, make sure to have all property evaluated by a forensic accountant before you divide your assets. Should your spouse not report assets to the judge, whether intentional or not, the lack of report can impact how the remainder of the assets are divided as well as impact alimony and other payments.

If you have concerns your spouse is less than honest with your financial situation or if your finances are too complex for you and your attorney to get an accurate accounting, a forensic accountant is a good tool to keep in your legal arsenal.

Ensuring your final divorce settlement is equal and fair is one of the ultimate goals of a divorce. If you have any questions about divorce, alimony, or other components of family law, please contact us at JP Coleman Law, LLC Attorneys at Law. We will work hard to help you get through your divorce with a fair and reasonable settlement. We look forward to hearing from you.