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How a forensic accountant can ensure a fair property division

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Firm News, High Asset Divorce

Most residents of Sacramento who are thinking about ending their marriage may think they can go through the process alone with minimal professional help, but this might leave them at a disadvantage. Experts, such as a forensic accountants, can be very helpful during the divorce profess. This branch of the accounting profession is not well known, but an expert forensic accountant can be an essential part of a winning divorce team.

Forensic accountants specialize in analyzing, evaluating and testifying in court about financial matters. In a high asset divorce, they can offer testimony about the identification of marital assets and liabilities, the value of minority shares or a controlling interest in a business and future income projections of small businesses. Forensic accounting firms are frequently retained to perform an overall evaluation of a couple’s properties and to prepare a report that the court can use in dividing personal property.

Forensic accounts can be especially helpful in analyzing the position taken by the other spouse and in suggesting ways to meet those arguments. Forensic accountants are trained to express their opinions both orally and in writing. One of the most difficult problems in valuing assets in a California divorce is presented by a couple who accumulated significant net worth before marrying the current spouse. A forensic accountant knows how to enumerate all assets, assign a value and suggest ways that the marital estate can be fairly divided. If one spouse is suspected of fraud or hiding assets, a forensic account can look for discrepancies in business records and financial statements and provide a trail for finding those assets. If the couple owns significant intellectual property, a forensic accountant can help evaluate such property.

Most experienced divorce attorneys know several competent forensic accountants. Whether the use of such expensive assistance can be reviewed at the first meeting between the lawyer and the prospective client.