A divorce can be an emotional and stressful process, as you not only end a relationship, but must also divide assets and liabilities. Often, it becomes a discussion about who is taking on what debt and how much each of you get to keep from your combined financial resources.
Clearly, there is a need to safeguard your finances and protect your interests. Using a divorce accountant, you can safeguard your finances, while making sure that all the information regarding your combined finances has been reported. Here are a few of the benefits of using a divorce accountant.
What is a Divorce Accountant?
First, a divorce accountant, which is also known as a forensic accountant, can be helpful for couples with complex financial portfolios. While some assets are easy to divide, others can be more complicated, such as stock options, deferred compensation, and complicated partnerships. There can also be assets that are held in trust, art, antiques, and rare collectibles.
A divorce or forensic accountant can help you to work through all the financial angles of various settlement options, which is not something your lawyer can necessarily do. Plus, if there is a possibility of fraud, your forensic accountant could be even more valuable. After all, they are trained to look at not just what is there, but also to look for what is being withheld.
Can Uncover Unethical Practices
If your spouse is misreporting their financial situation, a forensic accountant will be able to help you to construct a likely representation of their “true” income. They can uncover padding of payroll, overpaying creditors, creating fake debt, and the transfer of assets to dummy corporations.
A forensic accountant is also often a valuation expert, which can be beneficial in determining the definitive value of specific business assets, particularly a business or partnership interest. While there may not be specific wrongdoing, there can be tactics in play that are meant to shelter or devalue assets.
Benefits of a Divorce Accountant
They can help you as you search for hidden assets or income. For instance, they may find assets by looking for utility payments attached to a previously unknown address. It can point to assets that you might not be aware even exist.
A forensic accountant is also helpful in verifying financial information with other non-financial information. It can help you to make sure that you are on an even playing field as you try to come to a financial settlement with your former partner.
They can also assist your lawyer in preparing document requests from the other party. After all, if you do not ask the right questions, then you are not necessarily going to get the answers that you need. Along the way, they can also assist your attorney in preparing interrogations or trial questions that can be asked of the other party’s forensic accountant. They may even be called to testify in your behalf in court.
Clearly, there is a lot that your divorce accountant can complete in your behalf. Contact us today to consult with one of our experienced and knowledgeable staff regarding your financial needs regarding your divorce.
James P. Richardson, CPA, Inc. is an accountancy firm founded in 1978 that specializes in working with non-profit organizations. No matter what stage your non-profit is in, we understand your needs and serve them. Whether your business is for-profit or non-profit, we make sure it is run efficiently, guided by best practices. Our firm brings a worldview of contribution, determination, and hard work to all client engagements.