A forensic accountant is not required in every divorce. A forensic accountant is typically only necessary in cases where there are complex asset portfolios and high net worth. A forensic accountant can help with your high net worth divorce in many ways. For example, a forensic accountant can investigate if funds are being dissipated, hidden in off-shore accounts, or locate cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. A forensic accountant can also determine if your spouse is underreporting income or creating fake debt to offset assets. A forensic accountant can assist in the areas of property division, alimony, and child support.
A forensic accountant may be necessary to identify and assign a value to the marital assets and liabilities owned by you and your spouse. The forensic accountant can also assist with proposing how to divide the property for settlement purposes or trial. There could be complex tax implications associated with dividing marital property and an accountant would assure any pitfalls are avoided.
A forensic accountant can also assist with analyzing and determining the need for and ability to pay alimony (or spousal support). In some cases, one or both spouses may own a business or be self-employed and not reflect true income on tax documents. In those cases, the forensic accountant would review bank records and other financial information to determine true earnings. A forensic accountant can also analyze and evaluate the lifestyle of the parties during the marriage. This is relevant for purposes of determining the amount and type of alimony at stake.
As with alimony, a forensic accountant can assist with figuring each spouse’s income for purposes of calculating child support. In Florida, a formula is used to calculate child support, using the parties’ gross income, certain allowable deductions, and number of overnights. A forensic accountant can make sure the child support guidelines are based on correct information.
Contact our divorce attorneys if you are going through a divorce in the Pensacola area that involves significant assets or if you believe your spouse may be hiding income or assets. Our divorce attorneys can evaluate your unique situation, come up with a plan to reach your goals, and decide if a forensic accountant is necessary to get you there.