Using A Forensic Accountant To Find Hidden Assets In Your Divorce
Some divorces are more complicated than others. If you are going through a high-asset divorce that involves complex property division issues or you think your spouse is hiding assets, then a forensic accountant can be invaluable. At Gill Law Group, PC, with offices in Irvine, Brea and San Diego, we offer our clients the personal service and attention that only a boutique law firm can offer but with the resources of a large firm. Our divorce attorneys regularly work with other experts, like forensic accountants, whenever a complicated case calls for it.
What Is A Forensic Accountant?
Forensic accountants are financial investigators. They are certified public accountants (CPAs) who specialize in analyzing personal and business financial records and documents to uncover evidence of fraud, hidden assets or financial crimes. They operate as financial detectives, assisting law enforcement agencies and helping with civil cases like divorce or business litigation matters.
Hiding Assets In A Divorce
In the state of California, the community property laws state that anything you earned or purchased over the course of your marriage is community property. When couples divorce, the community property laws require that all your marital (or community) property be divided equally between you and your spouse. However, it can still be tempting to hide assets, especially in a high-asset or contested divorce. There are several ways a spouse can attempt to hide money and assets, including:
- Hiding cash
- Buying expensive items and misreporting the value
- Pretending to pay back personal loans and giving money to friends or a new partner to hold
- Tucking money into children’s bank accounts to retrieve later
- Underreporting or not reporting cash income
- Delaying a work bonus until after the divorce paperwork is finalized
Small business owners can also delay invoicing clients and collecting payments until after the divorce is finalized. Hiding assets is unethical and can result in serious consequences if discovered.
How Can A Forensic Accountant Help?
During the discovery phase of a divorce proceeding, each party can ask the other party to disclose specific documents. The court can impose penalties if a party doesn’t cooperate. These usually include tax records, bank account statements and other relevant financial documents. If you or your spouse own a business, then relevant business documents will also be included. A forensic accountant can review and analyze all the financial records and data in a high-asset divorce and search for inconsistencies or missing money.
Does Your Divorce Involve Complex Financial Issues? Call Now.
Our Orange County divorce lawyers offer a free initial consultation. If your divorce involves complicated financial issues, then contact us by calling 949-868-5268 or sending an email through our website.