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What is a Forensic Accountant, and Why Do You Need One for Your Divorce?

Forensic Accountant

During a divorce, parties may be tempted to hide assets in an effort either to save money on spousal or child support or simply to “win” a split by pulling one over on their spouse. Fortunately, there are tools available to ensure that a division of assets and allocation of support is fair to both parties. One of the most helpful ways to make sure that both parties are making accurate financial disclosures is to hire a forensic accountant.

What is a forensic accountant?

A forensic accountant is an expert in reviewing financial disclosures to ensure they present an accurate picture of the individual’s finances. Forensic accountants will review the spouse’s disclosures to the court, alongside documents like tax returns and account statements, to ensure that the financial disclosures are consistent, and determine whether it appears that certain assets have been improperly removed from the marital estate.

What important services can a forensic accountant offer?

Forensic accountants can provide a wide array of important services that will result in a fair outcome during a divorce.

These accounting experts can help your attorney determine what documents, such as important account statements or tax documents, are necessary to request during the discovery phase of a divorce trial.

A forensic accountant can also provide an objective valuation of your spouse’s business or of their professional practice, if your spouse is an independent professional such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant.

A forensic accountant can provide a valuation of physical assets or properties that your spouse owns or that you own jointly.

If you believe that the monthly expenses listed by your spouse are inflated and detracting from their stated monthly net income, a forensic accountant can determine the actual expenses and income your spouse encounters each month so that the court has an accurate picture of what they can afford to pay in support.

Forensic accountants can also determine if your ex has hidden assets from you and the court. This can be done by temporarily transferring assets to another person (even a child’s savings account), an out-of-town or overseas bank account, or through tracing the proceeds of an earlier sale of assets.

If you are facing a contentious divorce in Kentucky, make sure you receive a fair and accurate division of assets and allocation of support by contacting the seasoned and diligent Louisville family law attorneys at Gwin, Steinmetz & Baird for a consultation, at 502-618-5700.


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