A divorce can be a stressful experience, especially when it concerns sorting out complicated financial matters. To make the process run as smoothly as possible, divorce lawyers and people seeking a divorce often hire a forensic accountant to help locate hidden assets.
Using a forensic accountant in a divorce can help reveal important information that can facilitate divorce proceedings. The forensic accountant can help achieve complete financial transparency by uncovering hidden assets. They can also provide professional asset and income valuations, determine the correct child support income, and so much more. Read on to find out why you need a forensic accountant during a divorce.
A fair division of financial assets is vital to smooth divorce proceedings.
Contact Larry L. Bertsch, CPA & Associates, LLP for our forensic accounting services.
What Does Forensic Accounting Mean?
Forensic accounting utilizes investigative skills to look into the finances of individuals or businesses. Professional accounting services offer accounting analysis using state-of-the-art software programs and applications. For divorce matters, forensic accountants may be employed by either party or their lawyers. Their duty is to audit complex financials and interpret the data for divorce proceedings.
Who Uses Forensic Accountants?
Forensic accountants can be hired to help with cases involving:
- Divorce proceedings
- Business valuation
- Economic damages
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion or securities fraud
How Forensic Accountants Help the Divorce Process
Finances are a common cause of contention in divorce proceedings, so the services of forensic accountants can be invaluable. In a divorce, the forensic accountant works to investigate financial discrepancies in both personal and business finances, if applicable. The input of forensic accountants can help prevent a lengthy and stressful divorce process.
There are several reasons why you or your divorce lawyer may choose the services of a forensic accountant. Here are the different ways forensic accounting can be used to help your case.
Identify Joint Assets and Liabilities
In many marriages, one person will handle the financials, which can be a great disadvantage should you divorce. When a divorce is impending, the other side may try to hide assets in an effort to achieve a more favorable settlement. A forensic accountant can be brought in to identify and report that all joint assets and liabilities are in order. His or her input leads to more transparency, which helps to ensure an equitable division of assets.
Appraise Assets, Businesses, and Properties
Forensic accounting is about much more than just the calculation of numbers — the details behind the numbers are also important. Forensic accountants have the investigative and analytical skills to verify and explain financial data that is presented during an appraisal. The accountant will help calculate the actual value of assets, businesses, and properties during a divorce so that they are split up fairly between the two parties.
Locate Hidden Assets
It is not unheard of for spouses to attempt to hide assets during a divorce. After all, assets that aren’t known can’t be divided up. Hiring a forensic accountant can help you ensure that any hidden assets are accounted for. This is done using a variety of methods, including reviewing tax returns as well as the other party’s spending habits. The investigation can help them identify discrepancies between what they report and what they actually have. A forensic accountant can help uncover assets held by dummy corporations, under-reported income, fictitious debt, and much more.
Determine Child and/or Spousal Support
Often in a divorce, the higher-earning spouse will under-report their income in an effort to minimize alimony and/or child support obligations. In addition to uncovering hidden assets, forensic accounting services can help determine the actual income amount so that spousal support and child support payments can be calculated appropriately by the court.
Assess Joint Fund Spending Throughout the Divorce Process
Many spouses share a joint bank account. However, if you’ve decided to divorce, the last thing you or your spouse should do is withdraw large sums of money from your joint account with no record of how it was spent. During a divorce, it’s best to keep your money in the bank so that you have a paper trail. Your forensic accountant will then be able to assess how joint funds are spent by each party during the divorce process, which will help facilitate the division of assets.
Strategize the Division of Assets and Liabilities
A forensic accountant helps reveal crucial financial information that could affect how your assets are ultimately divided. The accountant will ensure everything named in marital property is fairly evaluated and that all liabilities are accounted for. They will work with you or your divorce lawyer to strategize how to equally divide these assets and liabilities between both parties.
Our Certified Forensic Accountants in Las Vegas Can Assist Your Divorce Case
Enlisting the help of a forensic accountant can help smooth the divorce process when there are complex financials to consider. The office of Larry L. Bertsch, CPA & Associates has a team of experienced and trustworthy forensic accountants ready to help you. If you are going through a divorce, contact us today.