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Why Should I Have A Forensic Accountant On My Divorce Team?

An attorney may be one of several key professionals retained by affluent Dallas-Fort Worth spouses during a marital break-up. Property division during a high-asset divorce involves careful handling.

The hard part for some spouses is identifying and determining the extent of marital property that, under Texas laws, is divided equally when a prior financial agreement is absent. Wealth can be spread far and wide, sometimes in places a spouse didn’t know existed. Even if you know where all the assets are, there can be a dispute over property value.

These are the areas a forensic accountant addresses. Let’s say a divorce involves the division of a family business, purchased prior to marriage but later commingled with marital assets. A forensic accountant can provide an accurate valuation of the business and set boundaries between what is and isn’t divisible.

Wealthy couples often have rare collections of antiques or art that require division during divorce. Each spouse, swayed by sentiment, may have a different opinion of the objects’ value. A fair appraisal requires insightfulness that a forensic accountant can provide.

A forensic accountant’s services also prove valuable when property is concealed. The more wealth a couple has the more easily assets may be to hide. Even determining a spouse’s real income can be a difficult task, requiring an accountant to peel away multiple layers to reach the truth.

Financial portfolios for wealthy spouses can be extremely complex. Spouses can learn the current or projected value of an asset by seeking a forensic accountant’s advice. Tax implications of forfeiting or keeping an asset can be calculated.

This sounds like a lot of work and expense and, yes, it can be. However, many spouses find the added effort is worth it to have a clear picture of the property to be divided. You can only ask for what you want if you know what you have.

Source: Forbes, “Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team,” Jeff Landers, accessed Aug. 21, 2015

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