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Could a forensic accountant help in your high asset divorce?

One of the most difficult things to predict in a contentious divorce is how assets will get divided between you and your spouse. If you can't agree on who should get what or on the fairest way to divide assets, the courts will make that decision for you. The courts will try to arrange for what they consider an "equitable division" of your assets. However, equitable doesn't actually mean even or a 50/50 split. Equitable means fair, and fair could mean more going to one spouse under certain circumstances.

There are a number of factors, including infidelity or squandering of marital assets, that can impact how the courts decide to divide assets. Another consideration is how accurate and thorough your inventory of assets for your marriage will be. If you have reason to believe that your spouse was intentionally spending, giving away or even hiding assets to prevent their division in the divorce, you may need outside help.

What does a forensic accountant do in a divorce?

You may think that forensic accountants typically help to investigate embezzlement or tax fraud cases. Actually, they can also provide a lot of assistance during a divorce. A forensic accountant can look over patterns of spending, withdrawals and other uses of marital assets to look for issues. It's possible your spouse has been engaging in a systemic attempt to limit the amount of assets visible to you and the courts.

Sometimes, this can look like moving money into international accounts or hidden investment accounts that you don't know about. Other times, it could be small cash withdrawals and a physical stash of cash hidden in case of the divorce. Maybe the accountant will find records of frivolous spending on an extramarital affair. Expensive gifts, hotel rooms and fancy meals can quickly add up to hundreds and thousands of dollars of marital assets squandered.

The more you know, the stronger your case

If you want a fair and equitable division of your marital assets, having an accurate and thorough inventory of marital assets is critical to your case. If you can prove your spouse was hiding assets to avoid splitting them or that a substantial amount of your marital assets in recent years or months has gone into an affair, gambling or even a drug habit, that can impact the outcome of asset division.

The courts will often reduce the amount that a spendthrift spouse receives in asset division if there's evidence of intentional squandering or use of marital assets on an affair. Working with an experienced and professional forensic accountant may prove to be the best way to locate hidden assets or records of squandered assets and provide documentation about them to the courts.

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At Hecht Family Law we understand that this is not only a very trying time for you, but that you want to get what you feel you deserve during the divorce process. We will always keep your end goal in mind.

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