Dealing with the dividing of family finances is often one of the most contested areas of a divorce. Couples with significant assets, an overall high net-worth or with issues of self-employment or business ownership may face more difficulties when approaching divorce financials than others.

Fortunately, there are professionals who can help you ensure the financials in play in your divorce are accurate in full. Experienced family law attorneys will frequently obtain the services of a forensic accountant to make sure the assets and debts of the marriage are all accounted for. Self-employed spouses or those owning businesses may, intentionally or otherwise, leave out certain assets when completing their schedule of assets and debts. Forensic accountants are usually seasoned CPAs with experience in working with complex financial issues like those encountered in a divorce.

All assets and debts must be disclosed by both parties in a divorce however it is not unheard of to have one or both spouses hiding income or assets in order to retain full ownership rights in them. Especially in community property states like California, spouses may be inclined to hide assets they feel are their own separate property, when in actuality both parties jointly own them. The job of the forensic accountant in this scenario is gathering and reviewing all relevant financial information in the divorce. They will know how to ensure all assets and debts are accounted for and that nothing is hidden.

In complex cases, this job can be very challenging and can involve tracing assets and funds through multiple accounts and across time. Sometimes a particularly skilled attorney can perform this work but perhaps not as efficiently and in particularly complex cases, there is no substitute for the investigative services of a forensic accountant. Keep in mind the cost of obtaining a forensic accountant to look for hidden assets.

Depending on how complex the case is, it could cost thousands to have a full investigation done so always be aware of the costs and benefits of this kind of service. If significant assets are at stake or you know your spouse is hiding assets but do not know how to get proof of them, a forensic accountant can be a good investment. Speak to a family law attorney about their use of forensic accountants. They may be able to recommend a trustworthy one and more importantly, advise you on whether or not you may need one. 

If you are in the Los Angeles or greater L.A. area and have questions about forensic accounting in divorce, Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney can help. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled complex divorce litigation team can ensure you are aware of how your finances are being handled and help you anticipate any results of a financial evaluation. Call our office at 310-564-5710; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.