Nancy L. Sponseller

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The Value Of Forensic Accountants In Some Divorces

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Property division is a necessary step for divorcing Ohio couples. A satisfactory and thorough settlement for divided assets might be tricky to achieve when spouses have convoluted portfolios, however. Forensic accountants may be invaluable in resolving the difficulties that complex and hidden assets can raise and ensuring that both sides have accurate and honest representation of their marital possessions.

Some spouses in the midst of a contentious high-asset divorce may attempt to engage in fraudulent behavior to retain more than an equitable share of what they own. Forensic accounts are trained to develop a particular knack for reading what financial records do and do not show in order to track unethical efforts to hide funds. If allegations of such behavior lead to a trial, the forensic accountant could face a cross-examination from the other spouse’s attorney, answering questions knowledgeably on a client’s behalf.

In cases where both sides are apparently acting in good faith, forensic accountants’ ability to effectively conduct valuation of assets could still prove useful. They could analyze the value of assets that may not be up-to-date such as works of art. They can also determine how assets such as retirement plans, business interests, stock options and restricted stocks might be reasonably divided.

Attorneys in Ohio who handle contested divorce cases might rely on forensic accountants’ skills to ensure that property division runs smoothly. If an individual tries to conceal any assets in a separate, undisclosed bank account, the accountant could attempt to find discrepancies in available financial statements to draw connections that can help the attorney locate the hidden accounts and ensure that they are part of the discussion.

Source: Forbes, “Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team“, Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014