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Can a forensic accountant be helpful in your divorce?

In divorce cases that are financially complex, there are specialists who you can call upon for assistance. Your marital assets may be extensive, and your spouse may know more about them than you do.

If you suspect that he may not be entirely transparent in terms of property division, investigation by a forensic accountant might be in order.

What they do

Forensic accountants are specialists trained to examine both business and personal financial records. They are able to examine not only what the records show on their surface but also what may be lurking just out of sight. For example, they will analyze trends from income tax returns and determine whether the information presented is credible or if your spouse has contrived it for the sake of the divorce.

Uncovering the facts

In a high-asset divorce especially, there may be mounds of paperwork to go through, but this is the forensic accountant’s playground. If your spouse is a business owner, this professional will be able to identify unethical practices, of which there could be several.

  • Underreporting income
  • Creating fake debt
  • Padding the payroll
  • Overpaying creditors
  • Transferring assets to shell corporations, possibly offshore

Imputing income

If your spouse is misrepresenting your marital financial picture by providing inaccurate, incomplete or false records, your legal team must determine what the true income is for your spouse. This is known as imputing income, and it is an area in which the forensic accountant shines.

Calling upon experts

If the financial aspect of your divorce is significant and consists of many parts, your spouse may have deliberately scrambled them to make it hard to figure out, or he may hide them from view altogether. A forensic accountant can work with your attorney to make sense of it all and help you attain the equitable settlement to which the law entitles you.

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