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When should you use a forensic accountant?

Divorce is one of the most emotionally taxing experiences you can go through. You are asked to divide everything, from bank accounts and houses, to debts and cars and everything in between. For the average couple, splitting these things may be a little contentious, but often both sides are able to come together and agree on who gets what. However, with couples whose assets are more complex, it's not just a matter of basic division.

For instance, one partner might have a portfolio with deferred compensation or complicated stock holdings, while the other might have valuable artwork or collectibles. It may take a trained forensic accountant to sort through these things, do asset valuations and create a clear picture of the situation.

There's another circumstance in which a forensic accountant can be invaluable as well. Oftentimes, in an attempt to avoid property division, one spouse might try to hide assets through a number of devious means, like moving assets to fake corporations, buying big ticket items with hidden monies or just simply leaving out key details. Forensic accountants are highly trained in spotting these kinds of deceptions and having one on your team can give you an unparalleled advantage in negotiating a settlement.

The idea of adding a forensic account to ferret out unethical practices on the part of your soon-to-be-former spouse might seem over the top at first. But, in cases of high asset divorce, the money spent in hiring one can pay off in many ways down the road, especially if you end up in court.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
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