Forensic Accounting | Divorce Proceedings

Divorce Proceedings and Marital Assets

Do I need a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce?

Divorce is a time of stress and uncertainty, particularly regarding financial matters such as spousal support, child support, and the equitable division of marital property (all of the assets and liabilities built up during the marriage). You have an experienced and trusted attorney helping you navigate the legal aspects of your divorce. But do you have the expertise needed to help you understand complex financial issues and complicated financial assets? This is where a forensic accountant can be an important member of your team.

Many people think a forensic accountant is only used in divorces of high net worth couples. This is not true. A forensic accountant can help you even if you don't consider yourself to be wealthy. A forensic accountant can help you by uncovering important financial information, including income and assets you might not even know your spouse has. This may affect not only spousal and child support but also the division of marital assets.

As you think about whether you need a forensic accountant on your team, consider whether you or your spouse has any of the following:

  • • Multiple real estate holdings
  • • Bank accounts
  • • Credit card accounts
  • • A business owned by one or both of you
  • • Varied investments
    (particularly private investments that may not be easily valued)
  • • Retirement funds (401(k)'s, IRA's, annuities, etc.)
  • • Stock options (as part of a compensation plan)
  • • Art, antiques, and other collectibles
  • • Other assets such as motor vehicles, boats, etc.

What can a Forensic Accountant do in divorce matters?

A forensic accountant can help you by:

  • • Looking for hidden personal income
  • • Looking for hidden personal assets (asset tracing)
  • • Identifying and evaluating inconsistencies in personal financial information
  • • Identifying and quantifying personal expenses
  • • Creating an inventory of marital assets
  • • Valuing marital assets
  • • Performing a forensic accounting review of a business that is a marital asset.

Such a review might include:

  • • Looking for hidden or deferred business income
  • • Looking for hidden business assets and liabilities
  • • Identifying and evaluating inconsistencies in the financial reporting and other financial information of the business
  • • Performing a professional valuation of the business
  • • Preparing a proposed comprehensive financial divorce settlement
  • • Evaluating your spouse's proposed divorce settlements, including assessing the long-term financial impact of the settlement on you and your children
  • • Providing expert witness testimony at deposition and trial

The BERO Group's team of experienced forensic accountants can help you get a thorough and fair financial settlement in your divorce. With more than 25 years of experience working with attorneys on complex litigation issues, we are as confident on the witness stand as we are in our analysis.