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A forensic accountant can help you get more from divorce

You want to get a divorce and know that you're getting everything you deserve out of your marriage. You believe that your spouse could be hiding funds or assets, but you're not sure how to go about finding them.

You already printed off credit reports and bank statements, but something doesn't seem to line up. You follow your spouse on social media, and he always seems to have more money than he lets on.

Choosing a forensic accountant

This is a case where working with a forensic accountant could be a good idea. Forensic accountants use their training in finance to locate fraud and financial misrepresentation. They look at more than just the numbers in front of them to see the situation as a whole. For example, if your ex claims he has no money but buys a new car, the forensic accountant would be suspicious and look for outside funding sources your ex hasn't disclosed.

How does a forensic accountant find missing or hidden assets?

Forensic accountants have education in the ways people hide things and manipulate their finances. A forensic accountant can look at a series of purchases or payments to see if anything looks abnormal. For example, if the accountant looks at your spouse's social media and sees that he or she has purchased a new vehicle, you can be sure that the accountant will look into your spouse's credit report and bank account directly. If nothing comes back there, the accountant may look for other sources of income, like being paid in cash for work around the area.

There is always some investigative work with forensic accounting. Sometimes, forensic accountants work with personal investigators to get more information about the other party's daily life and schedule. Other times, the forensic accountant works with the information you provide and details any unusual findings for the court. Every situation is different and may be defined by what you're asking of the accountant.

The importance of a forensic accountant

Even if you don't think your spouse is hiding anything, working with a forensic accountant may help you. Knowing that everything reported is truthful may give you more confidence in your negotiations, just like knowing that something may be hidden could give you an edge when you fight for assets. Knowing the full financial picture before you head into divorce is always a good thing, and it can help you get everything you want and more.

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