A Singular Focus On Family Law Matters

The Role of Forensic Accountants in High Asset Divorce Cases

January 9, 2024 | Divorce

A high asset divorce case typically involves significant wealth from a variety of sources. High asset divorces may include any of the following:

  • Retirement accounts;
  • Real estate holdings;
  • Business ownership;
  • Offshore assets;
  • Stock portfolios;
  • Personal bank accounts;
  • Trusts;
  • Art collections; and
  • Family wealth.

Dividing property, liabilities, and income in a high asset divorce case can quickly become complicated. This is especially so when one or both parties are engaged in tactics to conceal or undervalue assets in anticipation of a divorce.

Regardless of suspected financial misconduct, one of the most important members of any high asset divorce team is a forensic accountant.

Who Are Forensic Accountants?

According the Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants, forensic accountants are certified public accountants who specialize in applying scientific techniques and methods to gather and analyze financial evidence. Forensic accountants can work in multiple areas in administrative and legal settings on behalf of their clients including:

  • Preparation and review of evidence
  • Compile and present reports
  • Give oral evidence in cout
  • Be a helping expert in alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration or mediation in Boulder

The Role of a Forensic Accountant in High Asset Divorce Cases

High asset divorce attorneys in Boulder regularly work with and employ forensic accountants. Forensic accounts help to strengthen and build divorce cases by providing financial evidence and analysis to:

  • Trace the ownership of assets in disputes over marital and separate property;
  • Unearth a spouse’s hidden assets;
  • Accurately value marital property when spouses are unsure of property value or one spouse is undervaluing property for their benefit;
  • Determine self-employment income when one spouse is claiming inadequate income; and
  • Determine spousal income from multiple complex sources such as a family business and investments.

Forensic accountants can also act as expert witnesses in court proceedings regarding the division of marital liabilities, as spouses may not be forthcoming when designating debts.

How Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Obligations Are Impacted

Child support obligations and spousal maintenance payments are based on income. When a spouse deflates their income to pay less in spousal maintenance or child support in Boulder, a forensic accountant can be a valuable expert witness to identify a monthly income amount on which to base these payments.

Forensic Accountants and Potential Tax Consequences

High asset divorce settlements ordering the transferring and selling of assets can result in substantial tax penalties. Forensic accountants can offer advice and alternatives to protect divorcing spouses from unintended tax consequences.

This can benefit both spouses by preserving wealth and assets for the future.

The Preservation of Assets in High Asset Divorce Cases

Many high asset divorce cases involve indivisible assets like businesses based on professional goodwill. Under these circumstances, forensic accountants can suggest ways to financially preserve the asset in question while satisfying a property division settlement.

Contact a Boulder High Asset Divorce Attorney Today

In cases where divorce entails significant assets, the division process can become intricate, particularly if the couple’s financial arrangements are complex. In such situations, individuals may opt for forensic accounting to delve into the other party’s financial matters, thereby enhancing the likelihood of a fair asset division. Discover the crucial role of a forensic accountant in high net worth divorces and delve into available legal avenues by contacting a Boulder high asset divorce attorney at Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC.

Stahly LLC is now Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC, with three offices in Boulder, Denver and Steamboat Springs. Learn More