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Forensic accountants help uncover hidden assets in divorce

During the property division phase of any Massachusetts divorce, full disclosure of assets and liabilities is critical to the fairness of the process. However, there are times when one or both parties to a divorce suspect the other spouse may be hiding assets. This is particularly true in cases of high asset divorce; in these cases significant property interests may be at stake and financial disputes may result.

Fortunately, there are several effective means for uncovering hidden assets and ensuring full disclosure in a high asset divorce. There are software programs, investigative strategies and even proper use of government websites which can reveal hidden assets. In some cases, a forensic accountant may be utilized to uncover hidden money, investments or property. These financial professionals can be a tremendous asset and can complement the efforts of a divorce attorney skilled in resolving high asset divorce cases.

It is important to know that a forensic accountant is not an auditor. Rather, a forensic accountant is a professional trained specifically to locate various types of fraud. Many forensic accountants have worked as general accountants in the past, but have built upon that experience with more specialized knowledge of data analysis, the tracing of funds, fraud schemes and the preparation of data for litigation. Typical areas of knowledge for a forensic accountant include white collar crime, credit card and bankruptcy fraud, identification and analysis of fraudulent financial statements, regression analysis and asset misappropriation.

Is a forensic accountant needed for every divorce? No, but each case of asset division is unique and suspicion of hidden assets is generally taken seriously. A Quincy high asset divorce attorney can explain further about forensic accountants, their benefits and their role in the property division phase of a divorce.

Source: ACFE.com, "Forensic accountant," accessed on April 12, 2015

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