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The Role of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce

The Help of an Outside Expert

Working through financial matters in a divorce can be challenging, especially for couples who own complex assets or have a larger net worth. In these situations, it may be advantageous to work with an outside expert such as a forensic accountant.

Read on to learn more about forensic accountants and the role they can play in a divorce.

What is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant is a financial professional who specializes in researching complex financial matters, especially when there are situations present that may complicate a process such as divorce. Not only do they handle traditional accounting matters, but they also use investigation to uncover anything that may be hidden, such as assets.

In a divorce, a forensic accountant typically works to analyze the finances of both parties as submitted in their affidavits and accompanying financial documents to determine whether or not any discrepancies exist. They also serve as an expert witness and can testify to the accuracy of the valuation of an asset.

Forensic accountants can perform many services that are invaluable to the divorce process, including the following:

  • The discovery of hidden assets

  • The appraisal or valuation of complicated assets such as businesses, stocks, and property

  • The identification of community assets and separate assets as well as any comingling of assets and any spending of joint funds during the divorce process.

  • The determination of each spouse’s ability to pay spousal support and child support after a divorce.

Forensic accounts are best utilized when going through a high asset divorce; the complex assets present in this type of divorce often require the help of an outside expert to work through the challenges unique to each asset. However, their use is not limited to divorces of this nature.

Ask Your Attorney for Guidance

If you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets in your divorce or if you wish to ensure that all of your assets are properly valued and divided, a forensic accountant may be of great value to you. Be sure to speak with your attorney who can give you the proper guidance on how to proceed in your divorce.
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