One of the more difficult elements of a divorce is dividing maritally owned assets and debts. This is relatively simple for some cases, but for instances where couples have complicated finances, a forensic accountant may be helpful. Forensic accounting is often used when fraud is a possible factor during divorce proceedings, as one party may attempt to hide jointly owned assets.
A forensic accountant may be able to find irregularities in financial documents as well as areas in which finances have been manipulated to hide the truth. The accountant may also testify on behalf of a client regarding financial issues. This is especially the case where businesses are concerned.
Businesses owned by one party in a divorce become jointly owned property in marriage, but it is often difficult to determine a spouse's true income where this is concerned. A forensic accountant can analyze personal and corporate tax returns and follow trends or potential problems in paperwork. This accountant may also help a client determine the value of a jointly owned business or partnership.
In most cases, a forensic accountant will work alongside a general divorce lawyer. Enlisting legal assistance in a wide range of arenas during a contentious divorce may make all the difference when it comes to uncovering the truth regarding financial matters. Lawyers on a divorce team may provide legal guidance, paperwork assistance and representation in court to protect marital assets from being hidden by the other party in a divorce.
Source: Forbes, "Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team", Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014