Divorce can be difficult and complicated. Luckily, there are professionals who can help make sure that all information is on the table. One of these professionals is a forensic accountant. Not every divorce will require a forensic accountant, but in some cases, it can be extremely beneficial. Read on to learn more about the circumstances in which a forensic accountant may be helpful to you.
High Net Worth Divorces
A high net worth divorce occurs when the couple divorcing has a combined net worth of $1 million or more. These divorces can be especially complex because there is a lot on the line, and the more assets there are, the more difficult they can be to divide. In some divorces, one or both spouses may attempt to keep certain assets hidden. If you believe your spouse is not disclosing all of his or her assets, you may need a forensic account to get involved.
A forensic accountant can help determine a party’s true income by scrutinizing business records, bank accounts, tax returns, and investment portfolios. Additionally, a forensic accountant can uncover unethical practices, such as:
- Creating fake debt
- Padding payroll
- Under-reporting income
- Overpaying creditors
- Transferring assets to dummy corporations
- Purchasing expensive items with undeclared cash
This may be especially necessary when there is a business involved. A forensic accountant can determine the worth of the business and help a couple determine how the business and its resources should be divided. In addition, a forensic accountant can valuate certain tangible items, such as art, antiques, or rare collectibles.
Potential Consequences of Hiding assets
If you or your spouse attempts to hide your assets in any of the above ways, and a forensic accountant finds out, this will be reported to the court. This will be seen as fraudulent activity and the court will be required to notify the IRS. This can create a lot of legal trouble, in addition to the stress of your divorce. As a result, it is important to work with a skilled divorce attorney who can help protect you and your assets, rather than attempting to hide them.
If you are getting divorced and you are interested in working with a forensic attorney, contact an experienced Lancaster divorce lawyer to discuss your options and the next steps to take.
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We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.