As far as the law goes, your marriage is viewed very similarly to a business partnership. When your marriage comes to an end, you usually file for a divorce with an attorney. Some are amicable, but some aren't. This is particularly true when the spouses can't agree on how marital property should be divided. Sometimes, one spouse may be being dishonest to the other spouse regarding the real value of financial assets. Luckily, a forensic accounting investigation can help.
Situations When Forensic Accountants Come in Handy
There are many instances when an investigative accountant may be hired by a spouse in the middle of a divorce case, but these two are the most common:
- Dishonesty of Income – It isn't uncommon for one spouse to make more money than the other spouse. However, when this amount is significantly more, it is important to consider what options are available. The spouse that brings in less income would likely want to ensure that their higher-paid spouse doesn't lie about how much money they truly make in order to not have to pay as much spousal support, child support, etc. If dishonesty is expected, a forensic accountant can begin an investigation into the spouse's finances. The accountant will examine all documentation to determine how accurate the data is and can follow paper trails to find the true value of assets.
- Business Ownership – It's not easy to determine the true value of a business, especially if you're trying to do it on your own. This is where a forensic accountant can come in handy, as they are trained to investigate liquid assets and determine the current and future value of a company. They will carefully examine business tax returns, receipts, payroll and other business-related expenditures and documentation to find out if there are any discrepancies and to determine potential future revenue.
Forensic accountants are skilled in statistical analysis and the investigation of any and all finances. An investigative accountant will interview key witnesses in order to truly interpret financial data and to obtain a clearer understanding of the situation at hand. When the divorce comes, an experienced investigative accountant can use the information that they have obtained during their investigation to provide a worthy testimony in a divorce case.
Do You Need An Investigative Accountant?
If you are concerned in any way that your spouse is hiding assets or is not telling the truth about their financial accounts, it is important that you take action immediately. When a marriage falls apart and the request for divorce is filed, you are entitled to what is rightfully yours. Along with your divorce attorney, a forensic accountant can help make sure you get it and help you secure your financial future. If you aren't sure whether or not a forensic accountant is needed or who is the best in your area, consult with your divorce lawyer.