Why Is A Forensic Accountant Important In A California Divorce?

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

It’s a difficult decision to come to, but filing for divorce in California when your marriage cannot survive is not the end of the world. It will be challenging to return to life as a single person, or become a single parent, but it can be done. You will need to rely on the emotional help of your friends and family, so make sure your network is strong. When you decide to speak with a Westlake Village divorce attorney, ask about the services a forensic accountant can provide.

What Is A Forensic Accountant?

Not many divorcing couples know it but a forensic accountant is a vital expert for many divorce cases. The job of a forensic accountant is to find assets, place value on these assets, and analyze documents in an effort to help determine the division of assets, child support, spousal support, and other financial aspects of the divorce. The forensic accountant will review the following:

  • Contracts
  • Bank records
  • Tax returns
  • Retirement accounts
  • Other financial documents or accounts

A Forensic Accountant Helps During Discovery

Discovery is the part of the divorce process where information is gathered by both sides. This can include finding hidden assets, ensuring that all financial accounts are known and that motions and subpoenas are used to ensure that all the required documents are brought to light. The forensic accountant might also help your California divorce attorney obtain information and evidence that will be submitted to your spouse’s attorney and the court.

A Forensic Accountant Will Place Value On Assets

Once all of the assets are found, the forensic accountant will review them and assign them values. The forensic accountant will be able to do the following:

  • Trace property in order to determine which properties are considered separate and which are considered joint
  • Value businesses
  • Value professional practices for doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professions
  • Figure out the monthly cash flow of the couple and income available for support and payment of debts
  • Identify expenses as business or personal in order to properly place a value on a business owned by one or both spouses

A Forensic Accountant Can Testify In Court

If your divorce reaches court, the forensic accountant brought on by your California divorce attorney will be able to testify in front of the judge. They will explain their profession, their years of experience, and the process they used to find assets and value them. The forensic accountant can be cross-examined by your spouse’s divorce attorney and will testify under oath that they are telling the truth. If the case does not reach court, the forensic accountant will be able to offer insight as to the tax implications of dividing property between both spouses and is often instrumental in assisting with settlement negotiations.

Call A California Divorce Attorney Today

Are you ready to file for divorce? Coming to this conclusion takes a lot of thought and retrospection. The California divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi can answer all of your questions and help you find a forensic accountant for your case if you need one. Call our office at 805-379-4550, or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation.

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