Why You Need a Forensic Accountant for Divorce Settlements

What does a forensic accountant do?

Forensic accounting can play an integral part in divorce and financial settlements. It can assist with fraud investigations and information analysis ready for legal proceedings. Find out with us why you should consider a forensic accountant for divorce and other legal proceedings, and whether you really need one.

If you do, your lawyer would typically contact us in the first instance, to discuss how we can assist them. You can ask your lawyer to get in touch with us today

What can a forensic accountant do for my divorce proceedings?

While divorce is often an emotionally trying experience, at its core, it’s a matter of ending a contract between two parties. One of the most contentious aspects of divorce involves financial matters. In some cases, you can hire forensic accountants to calculate assets and provide expert testimony at the divorce hearing. 

Financial settlements during a divorce 

Financial disputes are very common during divorce proceedings. This could be because one of the spouses was the money manager during the marriage, resulting in the other spouse being disadvantaged in terms of knowledge of the couple’s assets and financial health. 

Another financial issue that may occur during the divorce is the higher-earning spouse attempting to understate income in order to reduce child or spousal support payments. Forensic accounting could be beneficial in this scenario, as they should be able to calculate and disclose the correct financial situation for each spouse to aid in the settlement.

Types of assets people may not disclose in a divorce settlement

Sometimes, spouses may not initially disclose financial information in order to avoid certain payouts. These assets may then be converted into cash after the divorce settlement has ended. However, forensic accountants can uncover numerous undisclosed assets, including:

  • Cash 
  • Bonds 
  • Mutual funds 
  • Insurance policies
  • Stock and annuities 

These assets may be concealed in many ways. While there are many high-profile cases of offshore accounts, a more common scenario is an individual giving their assets to a close family member or friend. Someone trusted and safe who can then temporarily store their assets. Perhaps an individual will claim they owed a family member money before the divorce, only to claim it afterwards.

Forensic accountants can determine which assets have been undisclosed 

A crucial role of a forensic accountant is to estimate any undisclosed assets. This is key for divorcees who want to ensure they are receiving everything they are entitled to upon their divorce and don’t want to reopen the case at a later date. 

A forensic accountant can use a number of methods to do this, including:

  • Asking about a spouse’s habits, this way they can determine a potential location where assets might be
  • Reviewing tax returns. A forensic accountant can even request a copy of these from HMRC. 
  • Analysing financial account statements, such as savings accounts, checking accounts and money marketing funds. 
  • Closely observing business transactions for those who are business owners and will analyse if there have been any recent write offs.

Ultimately, a forensic accountant in a divorce case will use their knowledge of accounting principles, auditing techniques and financial analysis to uncover any undisclosed finances and income.

Forensic accountants in Manchester and London

Our specialist team of forensic accountants are experienced with many divorce and financial settlement cases. Not only have they been supporting lawyers in Manchester and the North West, but they also have experience with similar cases throughout London and the UK. We can also assist you with a variety of accounting and tax related matters.

If you think your case could benefit from a forensic accountant, ask your lawyer to contact our team today on 0161 832 4841. Alternatively, ask them to fill out our online contact form and one of our forensic accountants will be in touch promptly.

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