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Dissolving a marriage with complex asset division

According to a recent article, there are a number of ways that a divorce might be complicated by diverse and numerous financial assets. Many assets, such as stock options and closely held businesses, can be difficult to value or divide. In addition, some divorces are complicated by misreported details about one party's financial situation. Because of these factors, it might be beneficial for a person who is going through a high-asset divorce to work with a forensic accountant.

A forensic accountant might be considered a subspecialist on a person's divorce team. This professional typically has the skills to measure or predict the value of certain assets. For example, if a divorce involves a complicated asset, such as a partnership interest in a medical or legal firm, a forensic accountant might be able to provide an estimation of the interest's value, allowing it to be divided accurately.

In addition, forensic accountants may also be able to review financial documentation for evidence of fraud or withheld information. In some instances, the income of someone involved in a divorce may be difficult to calculate because it relies on a business that deals with a large number of cash transfers. This may leave room for that person to under report income. However, a forensic accountant is often familiar with the different strategies a business owner might use while attempting to hide profits and revenue.

While obtaining accurate financial information may be important, those records may only be one small part of the divorce process. In addition to uncovering assets, the parties to a divorce may need to negotiate over how property is divided. During these meetings, it may be beneficial for both parties to retain the services of family law attorneys who might represent the clients' interest during negotiations.

Source: Forbes, "Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team", Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014

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