In some divorce cases filed in Broward County, the division of assets and accountability of income is clear. In other cases, the division of assets is not so straightforward. One spouse in a Fort Lauderdale divorce case may believe that the other spouse is hiding assets. Spouses may also disagree about their shared lifestyle which is relevant when your divorce attorney needs to determine alimony. When you file for divorce in Fort Lauderdale, your lawyer may request that you hire a forensic account to prepare your case and ensure that your divorce is based upon full disclosure of assets, liabilities and income.
Forensic accountants analyze the economic aspects of a divorce case. By reviewing financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns and corporate financial records, they develop an accurate assessment of the financial situation by evaluating when money is deposited, where assets are kept and how assets are distributed. All in all, the assets are examined for the purposes of child support, alimony and property division.
In calculating alimony and child support, a forensic account ensures that there is a truthful reporting of each spouse’s income. For property distribution, the forensic accountant ensures that this is fair when there is not a full understanding of the marital assets and liabilities. If both parties have not actively managed the family finances, one may not be aware of all of the assets. If one spouse is trying to hide assets, an untrained person may have difficulty finding the concealed assets.
Not every divorce case requires a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants are often hired by divorce lawyers when one spouse owns a business. A forensic accountant investigates to make sure that a business is not being used to hide marital assets and reviews business transactions and business accounts to ensure that the assets are properly classified and disclosed. In addition, a forensic accountant can also value a business as well as analyze and distinguish marital and non-marital aspects of an asset.
A forensic account can also assist in resolving a dispute over the reported income or assets of either of the parties. Often, one spouse reports income levels that do not correspond to the lifestyle. Your forensic accountant will investigate and determine if your spouse has misrepresented his or her income.
The necessity of retaining a forensic accountant during your divorce depends upon the facts of your case. If you suspect that something is amiss, you should speak to your divorce lawyer about retaining a forensic accountant so that there can be a full investigation of the assets and incomes in your case. This will ensure that you are relying upon the knowledge and advice of a trained professional.