How a Forensic Accountant Could Help with Your Divorce
Obtaining a divorce can be difficult and so often requires the cooperation of multiple individuals. For instance, having a forensic accountant as part of your divorce team can make all the difference when it comes to grappling with financial issues like property division, alimony, and child support. To speak with an experienced Largo divorce lawyer about whether a forensic accountant would be an asset during your own divorce, please reach out to our office today.
What do Forensic Accountants do?
Forensic accountants are a type of expert that specializes in resolving financial matters through the use of data investigation and calculation processes. These skills can play a critical role during divorce, especially in the property division process, where forensic accountants are often tasked with:
- Organizing and managing a couple’s finance-related documents;
- Identifying a couple’s assets by analyzing their finances, including tax records, invoices, receipts, and bank statements;
- Condensing important information into concise financial reports;
- Tracing property to establish whether it is marital or separate;
- Providing information about the tax consequences of a proposed property settlement;
- Obtaining valuations of complex assets like art collections and professional practices; and
- Identifying unethical practices, such as one party’s attempt to waste or hide assets from the other.
In most cases, forensic accountants are most effective when hired onto a case early in the divorce process. Even if their services aren’t needed immediately, they can help develop a litigation strategy, assist in gathering financial evidence, and rebut the evidence of opposing experts.
Analyzing Financial Data
Although forensic accountants can serve a number of purposes, one of the most helpful tasks that they perform is analyzing financial records to:
- Identify inconsistencies;
- Discover unexplained or unaccounted transfers;
- Identify missing assets or funds;
- Corroborate financial data with other evidence;
- Determine whether a spouse made deposits in an undisclosed account to hide assets; and
- Provide a value on any assets that were diverted from a shared account.
When a spouse knows what is missing from a financial accounting, he or she will be in a better position to request a settlement that is fair. In fact, it is impossible for a court to divide a couple’s assets and debts in divorce in a fair manner if they don’t have an accurate inventory of the parties’ bank accounts and other financial holdings.
Ultimately, a forensic accountant can make all the difference in whether a person is able to find the missing pieces that will reveal hidden assets, discover an attempt to waste marital property, or help two parties to reach a fair property settlement agreement. Forensic accounts can, however, only achieve this if they have access to a wide range of financial records, including property deeds, bank statements, and investment-related documents. For help collecting this documentation for your own divorce, please all our legal team today.
Call Today for Help with Your Florida Divorce
If you are starting to build your divorce team and have questions about what types of financial advisors could help with complicated property-related matters, please contact one of the experienced Largo divorce lawyers at Cairns Law by calling our office at 727-683-1472 today.