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What is Forensic Accounting in Divorce?

What is Forensic Accounting in Divorce?

Understanding The Financial Aspects of Divorce

Divorce can be emotionally draining and frustrating. Marriage means not just ties to children and family, but it means financial ties as well. When it comes to dividing money and assets, one spouse may be in a precarious situation, should the other be less than “financially transparent.” Here’s why some people may need forensic accounting in their divorce.

Uphold Financial Integrity

Many married couples agree that one spouse will take on managing marital assets and finances. However, this can put the other spouse at a disadvantage as they may not be fully aware of their financial health status. When one spouse has more knowledge about the finances than the other, it can be used to their advantage when negotiating settlements. Forensic accounting measures ensure that both parties know their real financial state before divorcing and splitting money and assets.

Uncover Hidden Assets

Assets not included in a divorce settlement cannot be divided. For this reason, it’s essential to use forensic accounting to uncover any hidden assets before they are sold or consumed. Some common assets that a spouse may hide include:

  • Cash
  • Bonds
  • Insurance policies
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • Annuities

Assets can be hidden in many ways, such as:

  • Offshore accounts
  • Giving assets to close friends or relatives
  • Safe-deposit box to store valuable items

Asking an employer to hold off on bonuses or raises until after the divorce can also be considered a way to hide assets.

Find Hidden Assets

A forensic accountant will also play a key role in locating where assets are hidden and may conduct the following investigations:

  • Review income tax returns.
  • Review financial statements, such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as credit card statements.
  • Analyze business transactions.
  • Public record searches for property deeds and other documents.

A forensic accountant may also retrieve contact information of family members to find out if any assets or money transfers were made to them and learn the spouse’s habits that could give clues to where assets might be hidden.

Do You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets? We Can Help.

Dealing with the financial aspects of divorce can be frustrating — especially if you suspect your spouse could be hiding assets that should be included in your divorce settlement. Having a skilled divorce lawyer on your side will help you protect your rights when dividing assets.

If you feel frustrated and unsure of how to handle the financial elements of your divorce, we are here to help. Our Jacksonville divorce lawyers will guide you through every step to move forward and put a difficult time behind you.

Contact Owenby Law, P.A. today at (904) 770-3141 to schedule a free consultation with our team.
 

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