The Role of a Forensic Accountant in a High-Asset Divorce

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation High Asset Divorce

Getting a divorce is rarely a simple process (although hiring the right divorce attorney can make it much less intimidating than you might expect it to be). However, if you have significant assets, the process may be even more complex than usual.
Are you preparing for a high-asset divorce? If so, it’s important to hire an attorney with access to a network of professionals who will play critical roles in the division of assets between you and your spouse.
One such professional may be a forensic accountant. This overview will explain what a forensic accountant is and how their expertise might prove useful as your divorce is pending.

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?

A forensic accountant is an expert qualified to investigate and analyze the finances of an individual, organization, or both. Tasks a forensic accountant might be involved in include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Uncovering assets
  • Reviewing or preparing business valuations
  • Determining the value of assets
  • Determining cash flow available for payment of support
  • Determining the marital standard of living for calculation of support

Specific ways in which a forensic accountant may be helpful during a high-asset divorce include:

Preparing an Inventory of Assets and Valuing Them

You need to ensure all your assets and your spouse’s assets have been properly identified and valued so that they may be properly divided before you can finalize your divorce in California. If you own numerous assets, several of which may be relatively high in value, identifying them all and valuing may be complicated. This is a task a skilled forensic accountant can assist you and your attorney with.

Looking for Hidden Assets?

Do you have reason to believe your spouse may be attempting to conceal assets from you to avoid having to split them fairly? If so, this is another reason to hire a lawyer who works with forensic accountants when necessary. A forensic accountant can conduct an investigation to potentially identify any assets your spouse may be hiding.

Evaluating Lifestyle — The Marital Standard of Living

When two spouses divorce one another in California, one spouse may be ordered to pay alimony to the other. A factor potentially influencing the amount of alimony they need to pay will be the lifestyle to which the spouse receiving alimony has grown accustomed.

It can be challenging to determine the “dollar value” of a person’s day-to-day lifestyle. This is another complex process a forensic accountant may be uniquely qualified for.

Determining the Value of a Business

Do you own a business with your spouse? Or, do you both share a substantial interest in a business? If so, when getting a divorce, a business valuation may be required. A forensic accountant can help in this scenario by reviewing financial statements, considering the overall market position of the business, and making educated predictions about the business’ growth potential.

Be aware, these are just some of the most common ways a forensic accountant may be involved in a divorce. The specific services a forensic accountant offers to you may differ based on the specifics of your situation.
At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, our Westlake Village, California high-asset divorce attorney is prepared to work closely with you to understand your circumstances and goals. If necessary, we’re ready to enlist the help of forensic accountants in our professional network, helping you pursue an ideal outcome for everyone involved. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 805-379-4550.

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