A divorce involving complicated assets and debt may make it difficult for the parties to negotiate for a fair settlement. However, forensic divorce accountants could help by determining the present value of such assets and uncovering assets that may have been hidden by either party. Another area of concern for couples in Nevada is the value of items such as collector's items, antiques, family heirlooms and certain real estate holdings that can become difficult to divide without help.
Assets accumulated throughout the life of the marriage may include wealth that is not necessarily obvious and easy to divide. Stock options collected through a present employer may not be immediately available but could be redeemed long after a divorce has been granted. One or both of the parties may have retirement accounts, and insurance policies with cash value may continue to increase as a redeemable asset as time goes on. Forensic accountants work at determining the value of such assets, allowing them to be divided accordingly by the court.
A forensic accountant might also find fraudulent activity by one spouse or the other, especially when it is apparent that one spouse is attempting to hide assets from the other. One trick is for one party to hold onto financial records for a lengthy period in order to create excess legal bills for the other or turn over paperwork that is chaotic and disorganized to confuse the other party.
When high-asset couples divorce, it may be wise for each spouse to schedule a consultation with a legal professional. A lawyer could call on forensic accountants and other professionals to aid in the valuation and division of marital assets.
Source: Forbes, "Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team", Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014