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Do I Need a Forensic Accountant on My Divorce Team?

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Financial issues are some of the most contentious that a couple will face during divorce. Fortunately, there is no need to grapple with these types of complicated matters on your own. In fact, most couples are specifically encouraged to avoid going this route, but to instead create a divorce team that is equipped to help resolve these issues as easily as possible. Besides an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division attorney, a forensic accountant plays one of the most important roles on any divorce team, as they are uniquely equipped to help identify, characterize, and value a couple’s assets.

What do Forensic Accountants do?

Forensic accountants are experts who specialize in unraveling complicated financial matters through the use of systematic investigation of data and precise calculation processes. Forensic accountants can use these skills during the property division process to:

  • Manage all of a couple’s financial records and documents;
  • Analyze the couple’s financial data, including receipts, invoices, and tax documents;
  • Distill important information into concise reports;
  • Expand an attorney’s capabilities; and
  • Provide the facts and resources that will lead to a successful case resolution.

Forensic accountants are usually most effective when they are brought into a case early, even if they are not needed immediately, as they can help with developing a strategy, assist in the discovery process, and rebut the opinions of opposing experts. Forensic accountants who also have a thorough understanding of the parties’ goals from the get-go tend to be more effective.

How Can a Forensic Accountant Help During My Divorce?

In many cases, forensic accountants actually double as valuation experts, which means that they are equipped to determine the value of especially valuable or complex assets, or assets that have an unknown value. For instance, forensic accountants often play an important role in placing values on art collections, professional practices, business partnership interests, collectibles, and antiques. Finding out the value of these assets helps ensure that both parties receive a fair share of their value upon divorce.

Forensic accountants are also well placed to identify unethical practices, such as one spouse’s attempt to hide or waste assets or income. If, for example, one spouse tried to intentionally shield certain assets by placing them in a hidden bank account, or by selling or giving them to a friend or family member, a forensic accountant would be able to uncover those transactions. Similarly, these experts can help determine whether a spouse is padding the payroll of a business, claiming false expenses, or using a company to reduce how much he or she will actually have to split upon divorce.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Property Division Attorney

For help assembling your own qualified and experienced divorce team, please contact dedicated Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. We can ensure that you have the support you need to protect your family’s assets, as well as your financial future following divorce. A member of our legal team can be reached by calling 954-945-7591, or by completing one of our quick contact forms.

Resource:

americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/family-law/practice/2019/what-is-a-forensic-accountant/

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