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Do I Need to Hire a Forensic Accountant?

Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas divorce lawyerThe financial issues that couples must tackle during divorce are some of the most complicated problems that come with dissolving a marriage, especially for couples with significant or diverse assets. In these situations, consulting with a forensic accountant who can help identify concealed assets or appraise unique assets is crucial, so if you and your spouse have filed for divorce and have varied assets, you should consider speaking with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help connect you to a well-respected and efficient forensic accountant.

What Is Forensic Accounting?

There are four main financial components to most divorces: assets, income, debts, and expenses. Forensic accountants can help with each of these areas by collecting and analyzing financial documents and then communicating the findings to the clients or the court. This involves completing a wide range of smaller asks, including:

  • Creating and analyzing a marital balance sheet that identifies, lists, and values all of a couple’s assets and debts;
  • Classifying each asset as either marital or separate property;
  • Determining income, which requires an analysis of income tax statements, cash transactions, and loan applications;
  • Analyzing a couple’s lifestyle to determine historical spending, as well as projected active earnings from future employment and passive earnings from investments like stocks or bonds;
  • Identifying and investigating questionable transactions to prevent wasteful spending or the hiding of marital assets by one spouse;
  • Determining the tax basis for certain assets based on capital gains calculations;
  • Establishing an opposing party’s lack of credibility by evaluating inconsistencies in their financial documents and exposing lies about reported assets and debts; and
  • Providing support during litigation, which involves analyzing discovery, conducting financial investigations, reviewing tax returns, and testifying at trial.

As part of this process, forensic accountants need access to a wide range of financial documents, including tax returns, bank account statements, property deeds, credit card statements, and documents related to stocks and investments. Analyzing these documents allows forensic accountants to identify all of a couple’s property, which can be difficult when unusual or extensive assets are involved. Once identified, forensic accountants can have each asset appraised so that both spouses receive their fair share of an asset’s worth. At this point, they can also estimate income, calculate alimony and child support payments, and put a stop to any wasteful spending or hiding of assets.

Contact an Experienced Georgetown High Asset Divorce Attorney Today

If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce and have diverse assets, you need the advice of an experienced Georgetown high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that you receive your fair share of marital property. Please contact The Law Offices of William D. Powers to learn more about your own rights and obligations during the divorce process.

 

Sources:

http://apps.americanbar.org/abastore/products/books/abstracts/5130183%20chap%201_abs.pdf

http://www.forbes.com/sites/russalanprince/2015/09/22/when-the-wealthy-divorce-they-regularly-engage-forensic-accountants/

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759