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Family and Criminal Law Blog

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Role of a Forensic Accountant in Divorce

Divorce is stressful even under the most amicable, honest, and open of circumstances. Throw in complex financial matters and spouses that are being less than forthright and transparent with critical pieces of information and things can get tumultuous fast, to say the least. Financial matters can be some of the most heated, contentious matters to be addressed during a divorce. Financial matters addressed during divorce can also have a substantial impact on the financial situations and well-being of spouses post-divorce. That is why bringing in a forensic accountant can be an important part of the divorce process. Here, we will discuss more on the role that a forensic accountant often plays in divorce proceedings.

The Role of a Forensic Accountant in Divorce

The role of a forensic accountant is mainly for reasons of financial transparency. In a divorce, you want to be sure that you have discovered all assets you or your spouse may have forgotten about, assets that may have been intentionally hidden, assets that need to be properly valued, and you will want to know the financial consequences that may lay on the post-divorce road. A forensic accountant can accomplish all of these things.

If you are uncertain as to what should be included in marital assets or do not feel like you have a firm grasp on the state of your financial health, a forensic accountant can be helpful. If your spouse was mainly the finance manager in the relationship, he or she may take advantage of their more thorough knowledge of the finances to get a more favorable divorce settlement.

Some people go to excessive lengths to try and hide assets so they are not subject to divorce calculations. Commonly hidden assets include financial accounts, cash, bonds, insurance policies, and securities. Sometimes they are hidden in offshore accounts or gifted to a close friend. Sometimes these holdings are converted into luxury items like jewelry and hidden away in safe deposit boxes. Forensic accounts can uncover these kinds of dealings.

Furthermore, it is not unusual for a higher-earning spouse to try and understate income in an attempt to reduce any child or spousal support obligations that may be imposed by the court. In order to be accurate in the assessment of the division of property as well as the awarding of child support and spousal support, the court must have an accurate picture of a couple’s financial landscape. When assets are hidden, income undermine, and things like the value of business holdings are miscalculated, this can have substantial impacts on the financial issues that need to be addressed in a divorce.

A forensic accountant can get to the bottom of what is going on with a spouse’s business interests. Sometimes, a spouse will funnel personal expenses through a business to hide income and make it look like the business is not earning like it really is. A business owner may also attempt to minimize the value of the business through methods like delaying lucrative business contracts until after the divorce is finalizing. The business owner may also try to underreport business income on financial statements and tax returns.

Family Law Attorneys

For more information on the tools that may be available to you to help ensure a divorce where your best interests are protected, talk to the trusted attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz. We are proud to serve the residents of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.


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Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. is located in Midland, Texas and serves the surrounding cities and counties, including: Odessa in Ector County, Andrews County, Martin County, Howard County, Winkler County and Crane County.



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