Benefits of Working with a Forensic Accountant
Get a Forensic Accountant’s Help for Divorces in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ
In the context of divorce, a forensic accountant investigates the marital assets to appropriately evaluate their complete financial picture. This aids the court in determining a more just and fair settlement for the parties.
As a forensic accountant and CPA, I’ve helped many women in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona receive the financial settlement they deserve for themselves and/or their children from their former spouse. During an investigation, I often help legal teams uncover new financial revelations like evidence of a spouse dishonestly hiding money or attempting to downplay the value of their assets to the court.
What Does a Forensic Accountant Do for Women Facing Divorce?
Uncovering Hidden Money
In some divorce cases, one spouse may attempt to hide money from the other. This artificially manipulates the perception of their finances in an attempt to convince a judge that they have less money than they actually do.
As a CPA and forensic accountant, I have been able to help many women facing divorce or going through divorce obtain the rightful money they are owed. The process involves thoroughly reviewing a spouse’s complete financial picture to uncover any money they could be potentially hiding in other places like a business account.
During a divorce, a spouse may try to devalue their assets in an attempt to pay less in alimony, child support, and other financial obligations. Depending on the nature of these assets, they could become a hiding place for money that you are rightfully entitled to.
When placing a value on specific assets, I provide a complete and thorough overview of the spouse’s financial portfolio. This process also involves tracing property ownership to determine what assets are shared marital property and one’s separate personal property. The valuation survey often accounts for items like:
- Real estate
- Wholly or partially owned businesses
- Stocks and bonds
- High-value collectibles
- Shared marital assets
- Retirement plans
Determining True Income
Compiling a complete picture of a spouse’s assets helps a forensic accountant to determine their true income with greater certainty. For example, if the other party claims their income is completely based on the salary they receive from their day job, but they have other assets that are not currently generating income but have the potential to do so, I can calculate how these contribute to overall income and make a determination.
Totaling a spouse’s true income plays an instrumental role in determining payment amounts for alimony and child support. Without this complete picture, you may not obtain the full financial support to which you could be entitled.
Providing Expert Witness Testimony for Legal Teams
When the possibility of hidden money is discovered, I provide this information to legal teams representing women in divorce proceedings as they construct their arguments. A forensic accountant can also serve as an expert witness in court to add further context and offer the reasons behind why dishonest money handling is likely present in a marriage’s finances. If a divorcing couple chooses to pursue a non-litigation option like mediation or arbitration, a forensic accountant can also serve as an expert consultant in these discussions.
Offering Additional Financial Planning for Post-Divorce Life
As a CPA and financial advisor, I also assist women in planning their financial futures after the divorce is finalized. The dissolution of a marriage often completely shifts priorities and perspectives for many. New realities like reduced income, transfers of assets, tax planning, retirement savings, and other similar factors become major concerns.
A divorce-informed advisor can help women with financial priorities such as:
- Budgeting and savings strategies
- Tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Investing and asset management
Advice for Working with a Forensic Accountant During Divorce
A forensic accountant can provide your legal team with immense value before, during, and after divorce proceedings. When preparing your case, it is important to provide your accountant with a complete picture of your shared financial portfolio as well as separate assets and sources of income for both yourself and your spouse.
If possible, include valuations and dollar amounts for all financial items. Even if these figures are an estimate or approximate range, this will provide an important starting point for the investigation as more accurate valuations are determined during the forensic accounting process.
As mentioned above, I would also recommend working with a forensic accountant that is also a CPA and experienced financial advisor. While the court decision may help resolve some financial pain points, new financial anxieties and uncertainties may present themselves after proceedings have concluded. An experienced professional can assist you in preparing for these new realities with greater confidence and a tangible action plan.
Get Forensic Accounting Help with Your Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona Divorce Today
As a CPA and forensic accountant who has also experienced divorce in my own life, I know firsthand the financial struggles that women face at all phases of the marital dissolution process. I want to help ensure that you receive just and fair compensation as you transition to a more secure post-divorce life.
To learn more about how we can help you with your own Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona divorce case, please contact us at any time.
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