Forensic accounting is essentially accounting used in a legal setting. When going through a divorce, couples can expect a division of all marital assets and debts. This includes obvious assets, such as homes, cars, bank accounts, and credit cards. For high asset couples, this property may include stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, businesses, retirement, and insurance plans, trusts, and property in multiple states. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, we advocate for the use of a forensic accountant in a divorce.
A forensic accountant will examine all types of financial documentation, including tax returns, accounting records, bank statements, canceled checks, appointment books, credit card statements, business contracts, mortgage applications, and more. This process helps determine a person’s income, assets, and debt.
Some ways a forensic accountant can help during a divorce include:
- Locating hidden assets and income, including off-shore accounts
- Identifying inconsistencies between important financial documentation
- Assisting your attorney in gathering information to identify witnesses, preparing subpoenas, deposing witnesses
- Calculating cash flow, which is used to calculate alimony
- Performing a business valuation
- Quantifying personal expenses accounted for as business expenses
- Auditing the work of your spouse’s forensic accountant
- Computer forensics
- Providing guidance on the tax consequences of certain proposed actions
Common Underhanded Tactics Used by Spouses During Divorce
The breadwinner in a relationship may stall endlessly prior to handing over documentation for the other spouse’s attorney to review. The paperwork may arrive in disarray, with heaps of irrelevant and inscrutable documentation in order to further drive up costs to review the material.
A spouse of high net worth may attempt to hide assets to prevent them from being divided in a divorce settlement. If a spouse has been hiding assets for many years, it may be harder to detect, as it will not show up as a recent change in financial holdings that could be associated with the timing of a divorce.
A forensic accountant can help determine if a spouse is padding payroll, overpaying creditors, underreporting income, or transferring money to dummy corporations.
Towson High Asset Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Use Forensic Accountants to Help Protect Your Assets
If you have high assets and/or a high income, or are married to someone who does, you cannot leave your financial future to chance. Hiring an accounting expert with the professional expertise needed to identify shady practices may seem excessive, but in certain circumstances, the payoff is immeasurable. Towson high asset divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles have a successful track record of working with forensic accountants in the context of high asset divorce in Maryland. To schedule a consultation, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online today.