If you are half of a high-asset married couple that is contemplating divorce, you may fear that your spouse will attempt to hide marital assets from you or has already begun to do so. Unfortunately, marital asset hiding is not a new phenomenon. A surprising number of greedy and/or vindictive spouses have engaged in this illegal practice over the years.
The difference today, however, is that thanks to the advent of the internet and its numerous opportunities to set up more or less anonymous online financial accounts, if your spouse seeks to hide marital assets from you, (s)he has a better chance of successfully doing so. You may need to add a forensic accountant to your legal team in order to find them.
Forensic accountant abilities
As FindLaw explains, unlike ordinary accountants and even most CPAs, a forensic accountant receives additional training that allows him or her to do the following:
- Discover and track your spouse’s hidden electronic assets
- Discover and track his or her hidden business assets
- Discover and track his or her hidden real estate assets
- Discover and analyze any discrepancies in his or her cash flow
- Discover and analyze any discrepancies in his or her financial documents
In addition, a forensic accountant will be able to tell you the tax and other consequences inherent in the various property settlement agreements you consider.
Perhaps the greatest service a forensic accountant can provide you, however, is the ability to serve as your expert witness at your divorce trial. Given that many financial transactions and calculations can be quite complicated, (s)he will be able to explain everything in layman’s terms so your judge (and possible jury) will be able to understand it.
While you should not interpret this information as legal advice, it can help you understand how adding a forensic accountant to your legal team can help you find the marital assets your spouse may be hiding from you.