Forensic accountants can be used in a variety of domestic matters, including child support, spousal support, and dividing up assets in the estate. The financial aspects of an estate can be complex, and combined with the dissolution of a marriage, matters can become even more of a headache. A forensic accountant can be hired to help relieve some of those complications that arise during a domestic dispute.
What is a Forensic Accountant?
A forensic accountant is hired to provide in-depth services that typically go beyond just simply calculating child support and alimony. Forensic accountants can be used to help uncover hidden assets in the estate, perform a business evaluation, or to help with other complex issues that may arise in dealing with a complicated estate.
Uncovering Hidden Assets and Hidden Accounts
A forensic accountant can be used to help identify hidden bank accounts, credit card accounts, or other assets of which one spouse may not be aware For example, if one spouse establishes a separate bank account to use when purchasing gifts for his or her paramour, a forensic accountant can be hired to trace the funds used to establish that account, and to determine what purchases were made using that account. A forensic accountant can also help identify accounts a party was unaware of, such as cryptocurrency or stocks that the party may not know existed. Finally, involving a forensic accountant can be helpful in a domestic case simply because one party was not involved in the family’s finances. Most people do not enter into a marriage with the expectation that the marriage will end in divorce. The spouse who primarily controlled the finances during the marriage may have an unfair advantage over the other spouse who was unaware of household expenses and incomes during the marriage.
A forensic accountant can be used in cases involving very complex estates. In some cases, where there are a lot of assets involved, a party may need someone with the knowledge and skill to help determine what exactly is in the estate so that the parties can distribute the property. In some cases, assets are not maliciously hidden, but the parties simply forgot that the account existed. Hiring a forensic accountant can help to uncover all of the accounts the parties have to ensure no account is left out when determining what is in the parties’ estate.
If one or both parties own a business, a business evaluation may need to be performed before the estate is divided. A business evaluation is simply a process for determining the value of a business so it can properly be divided. Because business evaluations can be complex, the parties may decide to jointly hire a forensic accountant to perform the business evaluation. This way, the parties can equally share in the cost having the evaluation done.
If you or someone you know may have a matter where any of the above-mentioned situations are involved, contact Hatcher Law Group for a consultation with an experienced family law attorney to understand your rights and options moving forward.