Getting divorced requires more than just deciding with whom shared children will live or who will get the house; a divorce requires taking a deep look into your finances–both personal and shared–and then making a decision about how property and debts will be divided, as well as whether or not alimony will be a part of your divorce settlement.
In order to help you do this, you may benefit from the counsel of a forensic accountant.
What’s a Forensic Accountant?
Investopedia explains that forensic accounting is a specialty area of accounting that focuses on providing a deep analysis of a party’s financial statements using accounting, investigative, and auditing skills. The analysis must be comprehensive enough that it would be suitable for court; indeed, forensic accountants are often asked to provide expert opinion in litigation, both divorce and otherwise.
As it pertains to a divorce, a forensic accountant is used when the separation is a high-asset divorce and a couple owns a number of complex, high-value assets. The forensic accountant will investigate the couple’s assets to help the couple–or the court–make decisions pertaining to property and debt division, spousal support, and child support.
Forensic Accountant – Divorce May Require the Help of a Professional
If you are getting a divorce and are a party to a high-asset marriage, working with a forensic accountant may be especially helpful. Your forensic accountant can provide assistance in the following ways;
- Valuing stock options, retirement accounts, and other complex assets;
- Uncovering hidden assets in a divorce;
- Valuing real estate holdings;
- Valuing a business;
- Appraising all assets and property;
- Determining the personal expenses of each party; and
- Providing insight regarding the financial consequences of a settlement option, including tax consequences.
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What Documents You Need to Provide to Your Forensic Accountant
If you are thinking about hiring a forensic accountant, it’s important that you start getting your finances in order now. Documents that your forensic accountant will absolutely need to review in order to be able to effectively assist you include
- tax documents,
- pay stubs,
- property deeds,
- credit card statements,
- bank account records, and
- any other financial documents.
In addition to appraising values, your forensic accountant will also look for any inconsistencies in finances, which may give clues to hidden assets and privately-held accounts that your spouse may have.
While you and your spouse will be encouraged to reach a determination about all of the issues in your divorce outside of court without the intervention of a judge, if an agreement is not possible, divorce litigation may be necessary. If divorce litigation is necessary, your forensic accountant can testify in court or at deposition, adding support to your case.
Work with Our Austin Divorce Lawyer to Learn More
If you have more questions about divorce, our Austin divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco PLLC is here to help. For the legal counsel you’re looking for, please contact our law firm today. We will aggressively represent your best interests.