There is sometimes a misunderstanding as to the role of the forensic accountant in divorce proceedings, which is based on the common understanding of the term “forensic”. Forensic means pertaining to the law, so a forensic accountant prepares accounting reports and testifies to them to assist a judge in making a ruling regarding issues presented to him or her.
What a forensic accountant can do to help with a divorce case.
- We can act as expert witnesses to get information into evidence when no one else can.
- We can determine the value of a business for property division.
- We can calculate income available for child and spousal support and the amount to be paid in support.
- We can determine the amount of separate property to be claimed before the community property is divided.
- We can lay out a suggested division of community property to help facilitate settlement instead of going to trial.
- We can consider the tax implications of specific asset allocation divisions.
- We can assist your attorney with the interrelationships of accounting issues and legal issues and much more.
What a forensic accountant cannot do (but others can).
- We cannot value real estate or other assets.
- We cannot value defined benefit retirement plans.
- We cannot find hidden assets or bank accounts
- We cannot subpoena documents