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What is the role of forensic accounting in high-asset divorces?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Property Division |

When spouses with valuable assets face divorce, the stakes are much higher. Moreover, the financial landscape can become more complex. In a high-asset divorce, one of the most challenging aspects is the potential for hidden assets.

If you think your spouse is hiding assets, how can forensic accounting help find them? In addition, how can you secure your fair share during the property division process?

Ways to uncover hidden assets

Forensic accountants investigate and analyze financial information for legal purposes. They can help identify, locate and value hidden assets in a high-asset divorce case. They employ several methods to find hidden assets, such as:

  • Reviewing financial documents: They conduct a thorough review of documents to identify discrepancies. Among the documents are tax returns, bank statements and loan applications.
  • Analyzing expenses: They analyze lifestyle expenses to check if they are higher than the reported income.
  • Examining business records: They do this to check if there are personal expenses in the guise of business expenses.
  • Tracing funds: They also trace transfers of funds between accounts, including offshore accounts.

Such methods aim to counter the common ways of hiding assets, such as underreporting income or overreporting expenses in financial statements. Further, the methods can also spot transfers of assets to a third party, purchases of undervalued art or jewelry, and concealing assets in offshore accounts.

Seeking professional advice

Meanwhile, couples in a high-asset divorce usually seek other forms of professional help aside from legal and accounting guidance. Due to their complex assets, they may also seek advice from real estate appraisers, business analysts and financial advisers.

Protecting your financial interests

Hidden assets can greatly impact the outcome of property division. With legal support, you may deal with the challenges of a high-asset divorce to ensure that you understand your rights, fight for your fair share and protect your financial interests.