Within the world of divorce cases, there are oftentimes additional people who need to come into your case to help with your divorce. One of those persons is a certified public accountant who has training in the world of divorce. The training where that person could assist you would be to help determine the value of property or two help you trace the history associated with the purchase of the property. If you have a complicated state or even a large estate, then hiring one of these individuals may be necessary. This could end up costing you a little bit more money in the long run but may be helpful, as well.

Especially if you do not have A great deal of experience in appraising valuable assets or property you may be better off hiring an accountant or other person to be able to provide you with detail when it comes to this type of Activity. The last thing you want to do is go forward with a divorce and not be as prepared as you otherwise could be. A forensic accountant or certified public accountant with experience in valuing property there’s someone that you can trust to help you make wise decisions in your case. Additionally, you can work with that person to testify on your behalf as to the value of a piece of property or even when a piece of property or asset was purchased. this will make a difference when it comes to determining whether the property is community or separate in nature.

Valuation experts can help you with determining the price where your small business could be sold, as well. Many people in our area are small business owners and because of that, the value and ownership stakes in the small business may be a relevant issue. Therefore, to determine what you want to do with the business and the divorce you may need to get a roundabout value for it. Once you determine the value of the business, its inventory, and your assets within the business you can determine whether you want to try to hang on to the business, so tier spouse or sell it to another person. Or, your spouse may simply want they’re sharing the value of the business. Either way, finding someone who can help you estimate the value of a business like yours and even help you find someone to sell it to can be a huge help.

Finally, a forensic accountant can also help you to look through responses to discovery from your spouse, bank account statements, tax statements, and business account statements. If you suspect that your spouse is doing something illegal or immoral in terms of how he or she is spending money then you will want to spend some time reviewing that information to see if there are any irregularities on the accounting side of things. The problem is that if you do not have a background in accounting it is very difficult to pick up on these irregularities. Therefore, hiring someone to make that determination and investigate this sort of subject matter can be important to the overall trajectory of your case.

The role of a forensic accountant in your divorce

the role of a forensic accountant in your divorce would likely be to help analyze how and when assets or property were purchased. In a divorce case in Texas, a great deal of time and energy is spent in determining whether the property belongs in the separate estate of either you or your spouse or the community estate. The main question when it comes to determining an answer to this question would be the funds used to pay for the property and the date on which the property was acquired. With that said, a forensic accountant can go back and trace the source of the funds used to determine whether it was community income. Next, the accountant could also trace and determine when exactly property was purchased if there is any question about whether it occurred before or after the marriage began.

Towards the beginning of your divorce, you and your spouse will likely submit to each other discovery questions period discovery questions and requests will be your method of obtaining information about your spouse’s case. He or she may have access to different financial material and information than you do, and the discovery phase of a case allows you to obtain this information. By the same token, your spouse can make requests upon you for discovery as well. the forensic accountant can play a role in analyzing the discovery responses submitted to you by your spouse and in helping you to submit truthful and accurate responses to their questions submitted to you.

The tricky part of analyzing their responses from your spouse is that their answers may provide you with a limited scope view of their finances and financial situation. This can be difficult for you because there may be problems with the information they provide, inaccuracies, or even faucets submitted. Again, if you lack specialized knowledge in forensic accounting or finance then these subtleties may not be noticed by you. A forensic accountant can help you to hold your spouse accountable in situations like this.

An example of how your spouse may be using financial tricks to their advantage would be if he or she is using business profit to pay for personal obligations. what a forensic accountant could do is to help you sift through the accounting documents for their business and determine whether there may be Community property assets that are hidden in between business assets. This could have a significant impact on your case and would otherwise be unnoticed had you not been able to hire than accountant of this sort. In large or expensive estates, the difference can be dramatic.

Business valuation experts and their role in your divorce

Community property assets as well as separate property owned by you, or your spouse needs to be valued within the divorce. If either you or your spouse owns a small business, have a pension, or any other type of retirement asset either of you can hire A valuation expert to testify at a trial. In a situation like that the judge would listen to the testimony of your expert witness and that of your spouse to help decide about how to divide the property. This is otherwise known as a battle of experts when it comes to a divorce trial.

additionally, business or property valuation experts can aid you before a trial. there are long portions of a divorce case where all that is done during the case will be time spent with you and your spouse negotiating. these informal settlement negotiations frequently lead to more equitable settlement results when compared to a trial. as a result, if you can, it is better to consider your options and settlements with your spouse rather than in a trial all things being equal. 

The advantages of hiring a forensic accountant or business valuation expert in your divorce

If you encounter the need for one of these experts to get involved in your case, it is likely because your attorney has made a recommendation. He or she may have a list of accountants or other professionals that could step in to assist you in your case. This would be the advantage of using an attorney who has experience in these types of cases. the more options you have in terms of being able to find assistance for your case the better equipped you will be to move forward.

We have already talked about how determining whether there are hidden assets in a case is a huge part of your divorce. Many spouses who get involved in divorce cases find out that their spouse has been playing fast and loose with disclosing assets or even hiding assets using tricky accounting techniques. If left unchecked your spouse could do a great deal of damage both in terms of your divorce and robbing, you above potential sources of income in the future. 

Additionally, your spouse could also be purposefully lowering the value of his or her business by hiding work-related assets and property. this can be done with creative business accounting as seen through shifting taxable income, depreciating the value of certain assets beyond what they should be, and other accounting techniques that untrained individuals may overlook. In all the paperwork submitted to you in discovery, your spouse may assume that you will simply lose track of the details with certain items due to an overload of information. however, a forensic accountant could help me to discover items that would have previously been left unearthed.

At the very least, a forensic accountant could help you too put your mind at ease if you believe that your spouse is hiding assets from you. Odds are good that once your divorce case comes to an end you will not have another opportunity to access this information. This divorce represents your best and perhaps only opportunity to meet the documentation which could help you determine the best way for your community estate to be divided considering the circumstances of your case. To conclude today’s blog post let’s walk through some scenarios where you may want to hire A forensic accountant or evaluation expert for your divorce case.

The simplest situation where I could think of where a forensic accountant or business valuation expert may be helpful is regarding disputes over how property should be divided. You are likely to encounter some disagreements between one another on how your community property should be divided. The more specific you can get your numbers the better off you will be in terms of being able to negotiate a division of your property. A forensic accountant not only can help you to value certain property but also make sure you have accurate information about what state the property belongs in. If you contend that a piece of property is separate from your spouse but the business valuation or forensic accountant, it tells you that it looks like the property is part of your community estate it would not be wise to spend a great deal of time negotiating on that subject.

Sometimes you may be in a position where you believe it is necessary to ask your spouse for spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is a form of post-divorce spousal support. You may know this kind of financial support as alimony. In Texas, spousal maintenance is typically only awarded in situations where You and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years. However, if you and your spouse can negotiate upon it then you may be able to receive contractual alimony even if you have not been married for this length of time. The real question is whether your spouse can Before pay you contractual alimony. 

If your spouse has been consistent in saying that they are unable to afford to pay you contractual alimony or spousal maintenance, then it may make sense to bring in a forensic accountant or another accounting expert. This person could review financial documents and even look at the budget submitted to the judge by your spouse. If there are any irregularities or just things that do not make sense in terms of the budget, they have submitted then that person can help you bolster your case that contractual alimony or spousal maintenance is within their financial ability to pay you.

Next, the issue of whether your spouse owns a small business that is subject to division in the divorce may become an important topic. Imagine the need to negotiate through topics related to valuing small businesses and potentially figuring out how to divide that small business in your divorce if you have no experience in doing so. This is a big risk to you personally and at the very least Can lead to stressful circumstances as a part of your case. If you want to avoid these types of problems, then hiring an expert witness like a forensic accountant or business valuation expert can go a long way towards helping you do so.

Another problem that can arise in your case is regarding the property owned by your spouse. Your spouse may contend that property was owned by him or her during the time before your marriage. This would make the property separate property. On the other hand, you may contend that certain property is a community in nature and therefore divisible in the divorce. A forensic accountant can help you to make a distinction along these lines and help you negotiate with your spouse.

Finally, If you have discovered that your spouse has suddenly started to spend money after your marriage then you need to be able to determine how much money has been spent and where it is being utilized. Sometimes your spouse may even be spending this money on a significant other that you may have otherwise been unaware of. In this case, not only would you want to keep track of how much money is being spent but how much money this being spent on this other person. The community estate should be paid back that sum of money, and this may allow you to hold him or her accountable for their actions. 

When it comes to high net worth divorces you can never be too careful with how you approach the case. Being as prepared as you can be with as much information as you can gain is a good place to start. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to moving forward with your case. We have discussed How forensic accountants and property valuation experts can play a role In your divorce. The more help you can get in these regards The better off you will be in your case. 

Of course, this entire discussion begins with finding an attorney that you can trust and one who has experience in handling matters related to complicated divorces involving large or complex community estates. If that is the situation that you find yourself in then I recommend seeking out the advice and perspective of experienced family law attorneys. Finding an attorney who is willing to represent you in your divorce will not be difficult. However, what is more, difficult is finding the right attorney for you. Consider an attorney who has a vast amount of experience, competitive attorney’s fees as well as a connection to your community. 

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.