Even in the most amicable of divorce, you still must make sure that you are getting the settlement that you deserve. When you are dealing with high-asset divorces, and even some that aren't high-asset cases, circumstances might still require that you have extra help with the financial aspect of the property division. This is when a forensic accountant can come into the picture. These professionals can help to ensure that everything regarding the finances related to the divorce is on the up and up.
What does a forensic accountant do?
A forensic accountant looks into the financial records that are associated with the divorce. This can be the personal finances or even business finances of the parties in the divorce. This is especially helpful when there is a small business or investments in the picture. While it might seem like overkill to hire a forensic accountant, it can help to make things a bit easier in many divorce cases.
How can a forensic accountant help in a contentious divorce?
In a contentious divorce, there is a chance that one of the parties in the divorce might opt to try to hide assets from the other party. A forensic accountant could look into tax returns to determine if there is something amiss with the claims of the party. These accountants can also try to determine if there are secret accounts overseas or in other places that should have been disclosed as part of the divorce process.
When should I hire a forensic accountant?
Almost every high-asset divorce should have a forensic accountant because there is always a chance that something was misreported, even if that was done accidentally. Divorces that include any professional practice, small business, corporate holdings, or similar companies should usually have a forensic accountant. The same is true if there stocks, investments, or retirement accounts since a forensic accountant can help with the valuation of the assets.
What kinds of discrepancies might a forensic accountant uncover?
Issues like padding payroll or reporting false debts are two examples. These professionals can also determine if creditor payments are being inflated or if large purchases being made for cash are suspicious. Underreporting income and using dummy corporations to hide money might also be discovered when a forensic accountant comes onto the divorce team.