Divorce is a challenging and emotional process, regardless of circumstances. This is all the more true when one spouse suspects the other of concealing assets.
In such situations, a forensic accountant can be a valuable ally in revealing these hidden resources. You can plan your next steps by understanding how these financial detectives work their magic.
Tracing the money trail
Forensic accountants can expertly examine bank statements, tax returns and other financial documents. By following this money trail, they can identify irregularities, hidden accounts or unusual transfers.
Valuing a business
In cases where a spouse owns a business, forensic accountants are able to value that business accurately. Some individuals might attempt to undervalue their business to reduce their share in the divorce settlement. A forensic accountant can unveil such tactics and reveal the company’s true value.
Uncovering offshore accounts
Concealing assets offshore is a common method used to hide wealth. Forensic accountants have the expertise to identify these hidden accounts by tracing international money transfers, analyzing foreign bank statements and scrutinizing offshore tax returns.
Finding hidden real estate
Real estate can be an attractive option for hiding assets due to its potential for appreciation. Forensic accountants investigate property records, mortgage statements and property tax records to uncover any undisclosed real estate holdings.
Revealing unreported income
Some spouses might underreport their income to reduce alimony or child support payments. Forensic accountants review income sources including investments, rental income and side businesses to ensure that all sources of income are visible.
Following electronic evidence
In today’s digital age, electronic evidence plays a crucial role in uncovering hidden assets. As of a 2021 report, more than 20 million Americans own cryptocurrency. A forensic accountant can reveal instances of a spouse using digital currency or other electronic means to hide money in a divorce.
Divorce proceedings can become highly contentious when one spouse suspects the other of hiding marital property. Forensic accountants, with their practiced investigative skills, play a vital role in uncovering hidden assets.