In many cases, divorce is an ugly process that can get rather nasty. This is especially true where finances come into play. Do you own a business with your spouse or have several high-value assets? If so, you may need a forensic accountant working with you and your lawyer throughout the divorce process.
What is a forensic accountant?
Generally speaking, a forensic accountant is an individual that is certified in accounting and helps to evaluate all of the financial records and assets of the couple getting divorced. Every element, including tax documents, are analyzed to ensure that each decision made throughout the divorce process is fair to both parties. This type of professional is typically included in divorce cases in which high-value assets or businesses are involved or when one spouse contests a financial claim that they find to be unfair or inaccurate.
How can a forensic accountant help?
The accountant may be brought in by a representing attorney, or could be court ordered to investigate the case. If the accountant is court ordered, they will work as a neutral party and investigate the finances on both sides to ensure accuracy.
If the accountant is brought in by a spouse, he or she will likely work to protect the interests of the spouse that hired him or her.
In some cases, both spouses hire forensic accountants to protect their own interests during the division of assets and a business.
Why do you need a forensic accountant?
As mentioned earlier, high-value assets and business divisions can be difficult to divide in a way that both parties think is fair.
The forensic accountant can work to find finances that are hidden or not brought to the attention of the court with the hope of keeping the money from going to the other person.
Forensic accountants can also help the divorcing couple plan for the future. He or she can help to divide joint accounts, retirement accounts and assets in a way that will protect both parties from tax penalties and put the couple in the best possible tax situation once the divorce is final.
If you are unsure of whether you need a forensic accountant working with you and your lawyer, talk with your lawyer. He or she will be able to provide you the best advice as to whether the expense of hiring a forensic accountant is worth it in your personal situation. Contact a business, such as the Madison Law Firm PLLC, for more information.