Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel, P.A.
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Forensic accountants can be big part of the team in a divorce

You and your spouse have worked hard and earned good incomes. In reviewing your accounts and financial documents as you prepare to divorce, though, something doesn't seem right.

Shouldn't your savings account have several thousand dollars more in it? Where's all the paperwork for the boat your spouse bought to take out on the Florida waters? And come to think of it, what happened to the boat?

Maybe it's time to talk to your divorce attorney about hiring a forensic accountant.

A forensic accountant who is experienced with divorce cases will analyze your finances and assets to make sure things are just as they should be and that your finances are protected. Forensic accountants can be quite helpful in divorces since they are trained to conduct investigations into family financial situations.

In a divorce, both parties are required to make financial disclosures that anticipate upcoming expenses such as household bills, insurance, taxes and education, as well as list assets and income, liabilities and debts.

A forensic accountant also can look at property records to determine if perhaps property has been put in the name of someone else, with the intention of transferring it back after the divorce, to remove it from the list of assets. They also will look at bank accounts and credit card statements to look for recent large, unexpected withdrawals or big charges made to joint accounts.

If you think your spouse might be hiding cash or other assets, or perhaps sold one and pocketed the money, be sure to tell your divorce attorney. It probably is time to bring in a forensic accountant as part of your team. You worked hard for everything you have, and you shouldn't have what you are entitled to taken from you. That asset you don't discover, and your spouse doesn't disclose, could be used or sold by your soon-to-be ex.

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