Forensic Accountants and the Divorce Process
In today’s media-driven society, the word “forensic” probably brings to mind episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or mini-documentaries like The FBI Files. Of course, forensic investigations certainly include the white-coated technicians equipped with blacklights, microscopes, and DNA-analyzing technology, but forensic science encompasses much more than crime scenes and lab work. Forensic scientists are trained to gather, analyze, and categorize pieces of evidence or information related to the issues at hand. The field of forensic investigation can easily be extrapolated into financial matters, as a forensic accountant assumes a similar role to that of a laboratory scientist, only with a focus on evidence related to the hiding or movement of money.
Applications of Forensic Accounting
It is understandable that forensic accounting could play a significant role in the investigation of many types of illicit activities. Cases involving business fraud, money laundering, insider trading, and Medicare fraud, to name just a few, are routinely broken by dedicated analysts tasked with “following the money.” In the scope of criminal, forensic accounting makes sense, but what about family law? Can a forensic accountant be of service in a divorce case?
Consider a Forensic Accountant for Your Divorce Team
The answer in many cases is a resounding yes. Of course, a large number of divorce situations do not involve enough property or financial assets to make the services of a forensic accountant necessary. However, a large number of divorce cases certainly do involve enough property, combined with significant potential distrust between spouses. When the financial stakes of divorce are high, individuals may resort to underhanded and illegal practices to hide money and to keep certain property away from a soon-to-be ex-spouse.
As part of your team of divorce professionals, a forensic accountant can thoroughly review all available financial records. He or she is not only trained to interpret the information presented, but also to identify potentially missing or intentionally obfuscated details as well.
For example, if your spouse has been ordered to produce business records so that the marital estate can be properly valuated, a forensic accountant can ensure those records are accurate and reasonable. Documents that show a significant increase in revenue, yet a reduction in profit without corresponding reinvestment are likely to be caught by a forensic accountant, while other professionals may simply skim over them.
No Wrongdoing, No Problem
Divorce finance experts point out that, due to the thorough nature of forensic accounting, the effort is never wasted. Even if suspicions of shady practices are proven false, you will still be left with a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation, likely in much more detail than ever before. Future opportunities, liabilities, and tax implications will probably be more evident, allowing you to make more productive and efficient decisions going forward.
If you are considering divorce and believe that your situation would benefit from a forensic accounting analysis, contact an experienced Orland Park divorce attorney. At Kezy & Associates, our team is dedicated to helping you protect your rights during the divorce process and will make every effort to uncover missing or hidden assets. Call 708-518-8200 to schedule your free initial consultation today and put our skill and knowledge on your side.