Divorce is complicated. Two parties are trying to divide property, debts and other assets and they often don’t want to be amicable. Even “simple” divorces are not so simple.
The challenge gets even harder when an intricate financial portfolio is in the picture. How do you divide stock options, deferred compensation, businesses, partnerships, retirement, insurance and other complex assets? More importantly, how do you ensure everything is on the table so that it gets divvied up fairly?
That’s where a forensic accountant comes in.
A Forensic Accountant Helps Your Attorney
Attorneys – even seasoned divorce attorneys – are not financial experts. It may seem unlikely that your legal representation would miss something, but employing a forensic accountant to aid them can ensure that nothing gets left out of the financial picture.
When preparing document requests, a forensic accountant will help your attorney get the right answers. After a subpoena, they can analyze the financial information gathered. When preparing for deposition or trial questions, your attorney has a reliable resource to tell them what to ask.
They Can Testify in Court or at Depositions
If you’re dealing with complex assets or an involved financial matter, a forensic accountant can testify on your behalf about specific issues. In many cases, this is a favorable alternative to being questioned or cross-examined by the opposing counsel yourself.
They Make Sense of All the Details
If you’re looking at dividing the value of a business, a forensic accountant will ensure a fair split between the two parties. A forensic accountant’s skill set includes being very analytical, detail-oriented, and ethical, and they also have effective communication skills. A forensic accountant is incredibly helpful when there are assets that must be split by determining a definite value. There are many details that can be uncovered and analyzed to ensure all the income and assets are shared.
They Can Uncover Hidden Assets or Income
Not everyone is forthcoming with their finances in divorce, especially if they’re likely to lose a good portion of it in the proceedings. When one party is attempting to hide bank accounts, owned property, or even extra-marital relationships, a forensic specialist can help attorneys wade through the information and find elements that the divorcing client may not know about.
Forensic accountants are trained to look at records and see not only what’s there, but what the other party is withholding. They may uncover under-reported income, fake debts, dummy corporations, or padded payrolls that obfuscate the financial picture.
In cases where a divorced partner reports an inaccurate or fraudulent financial record, your divorce team will have a resource to reconstruct their income to help you negotiate your settlement. Without a forensic accountant, valuable assets may be missed.
Don’t Miss Out on What You’re Owed
Post-divorce life has many uncertainties, but your finances shouldn’t be one of them. Contact the team at Robert L. Coval, CPA to learn more about how our forensic accounting services can help you settle your divorce fairly.