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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family > Do You Need A Forensic Accountant In Divorce?

Do You Need A Forensic Accountant In Divorce?


You are going through a divorce, and although you’ve heard that some people utilize the skills of a  forensic accountant during a split, you’re not sure if it’s something that would benefit you or not.  What is a forensic account, and who benefits from their work?

Forensic Accounting 

Forensic accountants are often used to ensure the court that the numbers being presented in a divorce are accurate.  It is very useful to rely on these financial experts when dealing with complex financial portfolios, or when one individual suspects that their soon-to-be ex may be hiding assets.  The proper valuation of assets can reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes going forward. Forensic accounts often trace the origins of income, as well as where that income ended up. They are trained accountants, auditors, and investigators, and may be used to resolve disagreements over economic matters of all kinds. They have been known to discover instances of fraud or money laundering as individuals attempt to dodge their responsibilities in divorce. Even when both partners in a divorce are perfectly honest, when multiple sources of income and grand assets are on the table, these accountants can provide the guidance necessary for complex property divisions.  They are especially useful when one partner is an independent contractor or when one or both partners own a business. One of their primary jobs is to support litigation and help complex and/or high-dollar divorces come to equitable resolutions.  A concise explanation of their work includes:

  • Assessing the value of assets to be divided, from businesses and property to pensions and stock holdings;
  • Achieving complete financial disclosure from someone who might be reluctant to identify their assets in a divorce;
  • Explaining the tax implications of the property division;
  • Providing testimony related to financial matters in court.

How is Information Retrieved by the Expert Help?

 Nearly everything is affected by finances in divorce.  The real value of assets has a direct impact on many issues, including:

  • How much child support is awarded;
  • How much spousal support is awarded;
  • How property is divided;
  • How business holdings are split.

High-Stakes Divorce

 If you are facing a contentious divorce, or even a cordial divorce  that involves multiple assets that are spread among a mix of investments, you may find that using a forensic accountant to assist with the identification and assessment of those assets is critical in order to get a fair shake. In particular, couples with a high net worth will likely need help examining collectables, retirement plans, life insurance, portfolios, businesses, deferred compensation plans, and more. If one partner is on the shady side, a forensic accountant may have to look for hidden properties, shell corporations that are being set up to hide assets, and other questionable holdings. A forensic accountant is trained to handle these situations and can make comparisons between tax returns, bank accounts, investment portfolios, and living expenses to determine the true value of assets that are to be divided.

Trusting the Outcome 

The Springfield family attorneys at Courtney & Mills are prepared to enlist the services of reliable forensic accountants when necessary in order to ensure a settlement that you can trust is fair.  To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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