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Divorcing couples may benefit from a forensic accountant

Massachusetts individuals undertaking a high-asset divorce may benefit from having a forensic accountant on their legal team. The most common legal issues revolve around property division and debts, and a forensic accountant could help in ensuring that assets are properly valued and that the property division process runs smoothly.

The end of a marriage requires couples to carefully consider all assets that may be considered community property. Stock options, trusts, retirement plans and businesses can be difficult to value and divide. Settlement agreements must be drawn up carefully because the wording of the agreement may complicate things. A forensic accountant's input may be helpful in ensuring that a settlement agreement's wording is clear and concise in regard to financial matters.

A forensic accountant may be especially helpful in cases where one spouse suspects the other is guilty of fraud. A forensic accountant can carefully analyze a person's business and personal financial reports to determine if a spouse is padding payroll, underreporting their income, creating fake debt or overpaying creditors. A forensic accountant could also provide testimony in court to help prove that a spouse is hiding assets.

A divorce gives both spouses the opportunity to start fresh after a marriage has gone bad. However, it is important to make sure that all of the assets are divided properly. In addition to a forensic accountant, a family law attorney could help a client in ensuring that assets are divided properly and that a divorce agreement is properly written.

Source: Forbes, "Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team", Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014

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