Not all divorces require the services of a forensic accountant, but couples with vast resources and complex financial portfolios can definitely benefit from spending the extra money.
Even couples in the midst of amicable divorces can find the division of some assets to be exceedingly difficult. For instance, are there stock options, and are they vested? What about partnerships and deferred compensation? Are there trusts to be divided, real estate holdings in other states or foreign countries? What about collections of valuables, including wine and hard to value rare items? Joint ownership of any of the above might indicate a need for a forensic accounting to be made.
There are other circumstances as well where hiring a forensic accountant is a good idea. A wily spouse can attempt to hide valuable assets and resources from the other. In fact, there are many deceitful moves and delaying tactics that a spouse can employ to deprive one’s ex of his or her rightful share of marital property.
Stalling is one such tactic, as it drives up the other spouse’s legal bills prohibitively, making them more willing to settle for less. Other ways a spouse might disguise true income streams include:
— Underreporting income
— Padding payroll
— Creating fake debt
— Overpaying creditors
— Making expensive purchases with hidden cash
— Transferring assets to friends, relatives or dummy corporations
If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets and undisclosed income, by all means you should ask your family law attorney to recommend a good forensic accountant to go over his or her financial disclosures with an eagle eye.
Source: Forbes, “Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team,” Jeff Landers, accessed April 08, 2016