In divorce cases, attorneys commonly turn to consultants to provide forensic accounting services. These services assist in identifying missing assets, transfer of funds, underreporting of sales and incomes, and search for dissipation of marital assets.
Separation and divorce is never an easy situation, as it brings emotional distress as both parties try to minimize the impact to their family and children. All matrimonial actions start with a common goal – to identify the total “marital estate.” In many instances, the involvement of an experienced accountant begins right at the start of the discovery process, which includes:
- Analyzing personal and business tax returns
- Reviewing bank statements and brokerage accounts
- Assisting in client interviews and depositions
- Tracing assets to determine or refute separate property claims
- Searching for assets that may have been diverted or dissipated in anticipation of divorce
As forensic accountants, the Ericksen Krentel team, which also can provide expert testimony, often is retained to help attorneys and their clients analyze these complex financial issues. Forensic investigators also may be needed to determine other financial issues when a couple divorces, including:
- Determining income available for spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support
- Computing reasonable needs or living expenses
- Assisting in the preparation of the Statement of Net Worth
- Providing a valuation of business interests
- Enhanced earning capacity calculations of degrees and licenses
- Reimbursement claims
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