Lawyers who deal with divorces know that financial issues are a big factor in most divorces. Part of the divorce process involves dividing assets and debt between the spouses, and support—child support for any children or alimony for one spouse—may be ordered.
In many of these cases, evaluating the finances is a cut-and-dried matter. Married couples have assets, such as a house, retirement accounts, cars, and other things of value. They also have debt associated with these assets, and sometimes other sources of debt. Equitable division in these cases is typically not as difficult. Figuring out what to do with support in these cases is easier when the parties are W-2 employees with a yearly salary. Cases such as these generally do not require a forensic accountant.
When the Financial Picture Is Murkier, Is Someone Hiding Something?
From time to time cases do require forensic accounting. We see this occasionally in cases where one spouse owns his or her own business. The difference between a spouse earning $100,000 a year vs. $250,000 would have a significant impact on, for the sake of discussion, alimony.
Small business owners attempt to hide their income in various ways, such as:
- In a modification of alimony case, the ex-husband’s new spouse is now an employee of his business, and being paid two to three times more than her position would ever justify
- Another ex-spouse may be caught running non-business-related expenses through the business accounts.
- In another case, the business owner may be creating and document fake debt to make her financial situation look worse than it really is.
The creativity in these schemes can be impressive with those less than honest about their finances.
A Forensic Accountant is Trained to Look Over Financial Records and Search For Hidden Assets or Income
If you are going through a divorce and you believe you spouse is not being forthright as to his or her finances, you will naturally want to discuss this with lawyers who can help you. Please contact the lawyers of Holland & Usry, P.A., toll-free at 888.230.1841. Schedule a confidential consultation today.