If you are about to dissolve your marriage, you are facing a number of concerns, one of which may be the suspicion that your spouse may be hiding assets. You think there may be secret bank or investment accounts, safe deposit boxes in the name of your spouse only or perhaps funds held offshore. Fortunately, catching up with financial missteps is not difficult, as your attorney will tell you, and one of your options is to hire a forensic accountant.
The skills of a forensic accountant
While forensic accountants are available through independent companies, many of the larger accounting firms also have such experts on staff. These are professionals who are proficient in evaluating financial reports, tracing properties and assessing the value of businesses and investments. Some are proficient in matters connected with marital law, and the information they gather is often used in court for the purposes of determining spousal or child support and the equitable distribution of assets. Some of these professionals are forensic analysts who collect and analyze electronic data — very helpful if you want to find out what kind of hidden financial information is available from a cell phone, computer history or social network.
Countering the disguise of assets
A forensic accountant may find evidence that your spouse is attempting to disguise or undervalue a marital asset with an eye toward using it for his or her own benefit once the divorce is final. To counter this ploy, you should compile as many financial records as you can. The forensic specialist can then provide accurate assessments and valuations and serve as a witness for your divorce case in court.
Rely on legal expertise
Research by the National Endowment for Financial Education shows that concealed funds play a part in two out of three marriages. This is a surprising statistic, but it shows that you may be correct in suspecting your spouse of financial infidelity. However, advice and support is available from experts. In addition to valuable assistance from a forensic accountant, you can rely on a divorce attorney with experience in uncovering hidden assets.