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Is it time to put a forensic accountant on your legal team?

If you are half of a high-asset Florida couple contemplating divorce, it may have occurred to you that your spouse could be attempting to hide marital assets from you. Unfortunately, many greedy or vindictive spouses do this to enhance their own post-divorce financial position.

As FindLaw explains, you may need to add a forensic accountant to your legal team to find and track these hidden assets. Why? Because over the years, crafty spouses have found innumerable places to hide assets. And with the advent of increasingly sophisticated technologies, hiding assets has never been easier than it is today. In other words, you may not be able to find these assets yourself without the help of a financial expert.

Forensic accountant qualifications

Be aware that not all accountants, even CPAs, are forensic accountants. A true forensic accountant possesses the proper advanced education and skills necessary to do many sophisticated financial things, including the following:

  • Search for, find and track your spouse's hidden assets
  • Determine, analyze and track your spouse's cash flow
  • Discover and analyze any inconsistencies among your spouse's complex financial documents
  • Establish the value of your spouse's business and real estate interests
  • Determine the value not only of all your marital property, but also your and your spouse's respective nonmarital property
  • Understand and calculate the tax implications of whatever property settlements you may contemplate

Expert witness

As you search for an appropriate forensic accountant to add to your legal team, also keep in mind that one of the most important things this person will do for you is to act as your expert witness at the time of your divorce hearing or trial. Consequently, the forensic accountant you choose should possess the ability to clearly, understandably and succinctly explain complex financial concepts and calculations to lay people such as a judge or a jury. The testimony your forensic accountant gives may make all the difference in the financial comfort of your post-divorce life.

This is general educational information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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