Divorce is a complicated and often painful process, and it can be made even more difficult when couples have to divide their assets. The decisions made during the proceeding can have lasting effects. One decision is whether or not to hire a forensic accountant in divorce.
A forensic accountant can help you identify all the assets that are part of the marital estate so that they can be accurately divided during the divorce. They have the necessary training and expertise to analyze the financial situation in a divorce case accurately. But working with a forensic attorney alone may not prove enough.
You will also need the guidance and counsel of a seasoned family law attorney from Remington & Dixon PLLC, who can help you understand your legal rights and options. When you contact our firm, our lawyers will evaluate your case thoroughly, determine whether you need a forensic accountant, and connect you with the most reliable experts.
When is it a Good Idea to Hire a Forensic Accountant If Undergoing a Divorce?
Not all divorces require the input of a qualified forensic accountant – it depends on the complexity and nature of the case. However, if any of the following apply to your situation, it may be in your best interests to work with one in the following scenarios:
- You or your spouse own a business
- Your marital estate includes real estate investments or other complex assets
- You or your spouse have been accused of hiding or misrepresenting assets
- You are self-employed or have significant income from dividends, capital gains, trusts, or retirement accounts
- You believe that your spouse has committed an unethical financial practice, e.g., undervaluing assets, falsifying debt information, or hiding assets
- You suspect that your spouse is misusing marital funds
What Can a Forensic Accountant Do?
Forensic accounting entails analyzing financial data, finding discrepancies, and uncovering potential fraud. Particularly for a divorce case, here are a few ways a forensic accountant can help:
- Unmasking hidden or misstated assets: If you suspect your spouse has hidden or misstated their assets, a forensic accountant will take a comprehensive dive into their financial profile, searching for discrepancies. They will analyze every financial record, including tax returns, income statements, real estate records, loan applications, etc., to uncover traces of misstated or hidden assets.
- Valuation of business interests: If you or your spouse owns a business, a forensic accountant will help you determine its value and investigate any potential misrepresentations of its worth.
- Examining financial records for signs of financial misconduct: A forensic accountant can be invaluable when investigating marital fraud or other suspicious financial activities. They can trace transactions, uncover document discrepancies, and identify financial misconduct patterns.
- Separation of marital from non-marital assets: As you know, some assets are separate property and cannot be divided in a divorce settlement. A forensic accountant can help you distinguish between marital and non-marital assets to ensure a fair settlement.
- Assisting counsel in discovery: If your divorce case goes to court, a forensic accountant can assist your attorney in the discovery process. They can help collect and analyze financial evidence, prepare written reports, and testify in court if necessary.
- Identifying tax implications: Divorce significantly impacts your finances, and tax implications are an important factor to consider. A forensic accountant will explain the various tax ramifications of the settlement and suggest alternatives that may provide more beneficial outcomes for both parties.
Do I Need Both a Forensic Accountant and a Family Law Attorney?
When considering whether you need a forensic accountant for your divorce, you should also remember that the guidance and counsel of a family law attorney are essential. Even if the financial situation in your case does not require forensic accounting, having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
But here are a few circumstances/reasons you need the services of both experts to secure an amicable and fair divorce:
- Understand your case’s legal and financial ramifications: A family law attorney will provide you with legal advice and help you navigate the process of filing for divorce. At the same time, a forensic accountant can assist in uncovering hidden or misstated assets, valuing business interests, examining financial records for fraud or misconduct, etc.
- Identify a fair settlement: A forensic accountant will help you identify the exact value of your marital assets, so you can have a realistic idea of what is fair to both parties. This information will be invaluable when your attorney pursues negotiations and settlement agreements.
- Testify in court: If your case goes to court, a lawyer and a forensic accountant can testify on your behalf to provide evidence and explain the financial implications of the divorce settlement.
A good family law attorney will assess your case and determine if a forensic accountant is necessary. If so, they will recommend a qualified expert who can help ensure a fair settlement.
Remington & Dixon PLLC has a Charlotte divorce lawyer who is passionate about helping clients get the most amicable and fair disunion. We understand the importance of legal and financial matters in a divorce and are committed to providing you with experienced guidance throughout the process. We also enjoy strategic and valuable relationships with forensic accountants, ensuring you get honest and reliable advice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
FAQs About Forensic Accountants
How do I find a qualified forensic accountant for my divorce case?
Who pays for a forensic accountant in a divorce?
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.