Forensic Accounting in a Divorce

The Role of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce

You may think that a divorce attorney is the be-all, end-all of the support you need during your split. That isn’t always the case. While divorce attorneys can often handle standard divorces without outside assistance, complex cases often require additional support. The more assets, business interests, and income streams you have in a marriage, the more complicated it gets. In some of these situations, a forensic accountant can be a valuable resource.

Learn more about what forensic accountants do and how a divorce attorney may use their insight during your divorce. For more personalized assistance regarding your divorce, call Kirk Drennan Law at 949-541-9944.

What Forensic Accountants Do in a Divorce

The term “forensic” throws some people off when their attorney brings up the idea of hiring a forensic accountant. However, forensic just means that something relates to the law and legal problems.

Forensic accountants are primarily brought in when there are questions regarding the division of assets, child support, and spousal support. If one partner earns the majority of the income or handles all of the finances, it’s very likely that the other party may be in the dark regarding the assets they own, how much they’re worth, and how much they are entitled to.

Unfortunately, some partners will take advantage of this during a divorce. They hide assets, gift assets until the divorce is complete, or relocate assets so that they are harder to trace. A forensic accountant can figure out where money is coming from, where it’s stored, and whether or not someone attempted to hide it.

People with sizable assets often think they can make them untraceable with enough time and effort. However, forensic accountants are skilled at tracing assets across state and international lines, business and personal accounts, and more.

When a forensic accountant uncovers hidden assets or funds, your attorney can then demand your fair share during the divorce. Additionally, hidden streams of income may be used to increase child support or spousal support payments.

Signs Your Ex-Partner May Be Hiding Something

Wondering if you may need a forensic accountant? Here are some signs that your partner may be hiding things in the divorce:

  • They were unfaithful and gave expensive gifts to their other partner without decreasing their own standard of living. Money has to be coming from somewhere. If this happens, it’s possible that they earn far more than they ever told you.
  • They have full and exclusive access to your finances. Even if one partner earns all of the money, both parties should be able to access the accounts, have passwords and usernames, and know where the money comes from and goes to. If you’ve repeatedly been refused access to financial accounts over the course of your marriage, it will be very easy for your spouse to attempt to cheat you out of your share of the marital assets.
  • They have rooms or parts of the house that they won’t let you enter. People with large portfolios, business interests, or multiple streams of income often take extra steps to keep their spouses from finding out about them.
  • Even while paying marital bills during a divorce, their standard of living has not changed. If you’re struggling to get by and they are continuing to live large, they may be hiding a significant amount of income from you.
  • Large assets go missing after the divorce process starts. People who try to hide assets may “give” them to friends or family members with the understanding that they will get them back after the divorce is finalized.

Exploring Your Options with Your Attorney

While a forensic accountant can be an excellent resource in a divorce, they aren’t always necessary. It’s important to talk to your divorce attorney about your concerns so they can provide the best advice for your situation.

Find Out How Kirk Drennan Law Can Help You

At Kirk Drennan Law, we know how difficult divorce can be—especially if your spouse is actively trying to hide money or assets from you. Let us help you fight for your fair share of the marital estate. Call us at 205-953-1424 or send us a message online to set up a consultation with our team now.

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