4 Ways a Forensic Accountant Can Help With Divorce and Matrimonial Issues

Aside from the emotional and financial drain suffered in divorce proceedings, matters can become even more complicated when property and business interests come into the mix. This is where you’ll benefit from the expertise of a forensic accountant. 

As forensic accountant, we will help you make logical decisions using accurate figures, sparing you the headache, guesswork, and potentially costly mistakes along the way. Even before you reach court, when you are still trying to arrive at the potential value of your assets, a forensic accountant can support you in obtaining a better understanding of what’s at stake. 

In this article, we will share four ways a forensic accountant’s experience and professional input can assist with your divorce case and matrimonial issues:

1. Asset-Tracing 

It’s not a secret that some people provide misleading financial information on their income or even hide assets whether by natural inclinations or in anticipation of divorce. Even techniques like overstating liabilities can be used to make the situation seem less favourable to you, and so put you off pursuing matters you should. A forensic accountant can use auditing techniques and carry out a thorough analysis of financial documents to spot anything amiss and help ensure a fair distribution on divorce. If you suspect any misleading financial information or you merely want to cover your bases, a forensic accountant will help you greatly. 

2. Expert Witness

Forensic accountants can act as a Single Joint Expert (SJE) for both parties as an independent unbiased party fairly evaluating financial matters, helping create a situation where you and your spouse can reach an agreement. Doing this significantly reduces costs and may facilitate a smoother process in court. In cases where cooperation is not possible, a forensic accountant’s input will enable you to negotiate a fairer outcome in the distribution of assets acquired during the marriage.

If you and your soon to be former spouse are unable to reach a suitable agreement outside the courtroom, your divorce proceedings will then continue to trial. It is important to know that forensic expert opinions are always valued in court. You can rely on expert opinions to prove or disprove any financial issue in question that may be thrown in by your former spouse, and ensure adequate disclosure of financial matters is provided by your partner. 

3. Valuation of Business Interests

A forensic accountant can independently assess the valuation of a business using information on past performance of a business, asset holdings, and potential or actual profit levels. An experienced divorce expert can also advise on how to restructure the business to allow for an easy extraction of funds.

4. Tax Bills 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) can quickly prove to be a significant issue when the transfer of assets or extraction of cash hasn’t been efficiently planned, so reducing the available funds in a divorce settlement. Part of the experience and expertise of a forensic accountant is to advise you on how to minimise CGT, which is the tax imposed on profits made on the sale of any asset, so maximising the available funds.

Conclusion

It is only right that both parties take advantage of the benefits of expert advice in these situations, especially in matters of wealth distribution during a divorce proceeding. Having a forensic accountant who specialises in divorce proceedings will give you assurance that you are getting what you are entitled to. In cases where the proceedings can be particularly difficult, a forensic accountant by your side will ensure that nothing is getting past you unnoticed. 

We have forensic accountants in Manchester that are available for a free consultation, whether your case involves personal or commercial litigation, business valuations, or crime. Our team comprises experts who are members of the Academy of Experts, The Fraud Advisory Panel, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and an ex-Serious Fraud Office investigating accountant, who between them have decades of experience providing incisive concise input and critique into cases, including giving evidence at Court. Get in touch with us today!