Is It Worth Getting a Forensic Accountant for a Divorce?

man looking over numbers and data
Sep 26, 2023 | Content

A forensic accountant uncovers fraud and financial crimes by investigating records and following transactions. While much of the work of forensic accountants is done in criminal cases, they are also frequently utilized in divorce disputes.

Is it worth getting a forensic accountant for your divorce? Let our experienced family attorneys help guide you on the path that best suits your needs.

What Is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant can rely on many tools to identify signs of fraud and follow the trail of transactions to determine how marital funds were spent. They could look for signs of unusual transactions or other suspicious activities. This might include identifying discrepancies in documents, noting money that has gone missing, or even recognizing forgeries.

One of the most important steps a forensic accountant could take is identifying hidden assets. Both spouses have a duty to fully disclose their financial situations during a divorce case. Hiding assets allows a spouse to fraudulently keep more than they are entitled to.

Additionally, there are often disputes over whether a thing of value is owned by one spouse or both of them together. A forensic accountant could trace the ownership of these assets to determine whether they are considered marital property.

When Is Hiring a Forensic Accountant a Good Idea?

While the guidance of a forensic accountant is often invaluable, they are not necessary for every divorce case. In some situations, the assets involved in a divorce do not justify the cost of this type of expert. The more complex the financial circumstances of a marriage might be, the more likely it is that a forensic account could help.

Business Owners

Unraveling personal finances is one thing. Getting to the bottom of business assets is another. Whether the business is owned jointly or by an individual spouse, this can complicate a divorce in a number of ways. A forensic accountant could help simplify things by identifying the transactions involving the business and reviewing any signs of potential fraud.

Complex Assets

Some assets—particularly large real estate holdings—are particularly complex. It can be difficult to determine what these assets are truly worth, especially without the help of an expert.

Suspicions of Fraud

The assistance of a forensic accountant is especially helpful when a person filing for divorce suspects their spouse of fraud. It can be difficult to uncover hidden assets and intentionally misplaced funds. A forensic accountant could get to the bottom of whether fraud occurred.

Talk to an Attorney About Using a Forensic Accountant in Your Divorce Case

It might not be immediately obvious to you if hiring a forensic accountant is in your best interest. In some cases, having an expert might not be necessary. However, having their support in the cases where they are needed can make all the difference.

If you have questions about whether it is worth getting a forensic accountant for your divorce, reach out right away for a confidential consultation.

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