If you are thinking about filing for divorce, there are many different aspects to consider. Although some of these, such as child custody issues are obvious, there are others you may not immediately think about. One of these is whether or not to hire a forensic accountant.
A forensic accountant essentially acts as a financial detective by investigating fraud, reviewing questionable financial data, and helping with civil investigations. Even if you have not considered working with a forensic accountant, below our Campbell property division lawyer outlines three reasons why you should.
Save Stress and Money in the Long Run
Working with a forensic accountant does come with a cost, and it is not surprising that many people do not want added expenses during their divorce, a process that is already known to be quite expensive. However, a forensic accountant can actually save you money and time, while also reducing your stress.
Under the community property laws in California, marital assets and debts are generally considered to be owned by both spouses equally. Marital assets and debts are those that were acquired during the marriage. The process of identifying and valuing marital assets and debts is very difficult. A forensic accountant can handle this part of the process, ensuring you receive a fair settlement.
Uncovering Hidden Income and Assets
There are certain situations in which it is essential to speak to a forensic accountant during divorce. For example, if your spouse has their own business, it can be more challenging to identify all of their income and assets. A forensic accountant will have the necessary experience to review the appropriate financial records and identify hidden income sources and assets. A forensic accountant may ask to see records for retirement accounts, tax returns for previous years, bank statements and more when looking for hidden income and assets.
Level the Playing Field
Sometimes, there is a large disparity between the income of both spouses. One may earn a very high salary while the other earns significantly lower wages. This situation can place the lower-earning spouse at a great disadvantage during the divorce process. A forensic accountant can provide the necessary advice that will level the playing field and make sure that both parties reach a fair settlement.
When one party has a much higher income than the other, they are often the ones to look after the finances of the household. This again, can make it harder to identify all assets and sources of income, which is something a forensic accountant will have the necessary expertise to do.
Our Property Division Lawyer in Campbell Can Recommend a Forensic Accountant
Forensic accountants are not necessary in all divorce cases, but there are times when their knowledge and experience is of great benefit. At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, our Campbell property division lawyer can recommend any expert you need that will help you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 408-688-9153 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.