Financial matters often become a battleground in a West Virginia divorce. However, forensic accountants can play a pivotal role in ensuring a fair resolution once a marriage runs its course.
Different forensic accountants may have different focus areas, but most have training or credentials that enable them to do the following.
Unearth hidden assets
During a divorce, spouses might attempt to conceal property, bank accounts or income streams to avoid sharing them with the other party. Forensic accountants trace financial transactions and scrutinize bank statements, tax returns and business records to uncover concealed assets.
Determine the value of assets
Forensic accountants are adept at assessing the value of various assets. Some of these assets might include real estate, investments, businesses and personal property.
Review income and expenses
In a divorce, each spouse’s income and expenses come into play when calculating amounts for spousal or child support. Forensic accountants thoroughly analyze financial records to develop an understanding of each party’s financial situation. When doing so, they consider various factors, such as bonuses, fringe benefits and potential future earnings, to ensure that support arrangements are just and sustainable.
Uncover financial misconduct
Some spouses resort to financial misconduct during divorce proceedings, including concealing income, inflating debts or engaging in other fraudulent activities. In fact, 53% of Americans admit to keeping secrets about money from their partners. Forensic accountants may be able to help identify instances of misconduct, and their findings can have a significant impact on a final settlement.
Ultimately, a forensic accountant’s job is to advocate on your behalf with regard to money matters while helping you set the wheels in motion for a stable financial future.