Divorce Forensic Accounting

A recent post by the attorneys at KSS Family Law about working with Forensic Accountants in divorce (see separate blog article from KSS Family Law reprinted with permission) inspired me to write this blog article about our role in divorce matters.

IAG forensic accountants work in conjunction with family law attorneys to identify, investigate, evaluate, and resolve financial issues in divorce. The attorneys “captain the ship,” directing overall legal process, strategy, negotiation, and presentation of a client’s case. However, because of our unique training, education, and experience, we are often able to assist them and their clients in dealing with financial issues more quickly, efficiently and cost effectively than they could do themselves. It can be a very effective partnership, especially in cases involving complex financial issues.

As Sean mentions in his article, sometimes both sides in a divorce hire a financial expert and we welcome the opportunity to work with an experienced professional on the other side. We often find that the two experts agree about many aspects of the case and we can therefore narrow the issues in dispute to just a few that need to be resolved in mediation or trial.

Sometimes, we are the only financial expert in a case, hired to analyze specific accounts or transactions (e.g. separate/marital interest in assets) or to help a spouse who has not been involved in management of the family’s financial assets understand the financial position. We happily work with both men and women on all financial aspects of divorce.

Our favorite cases are ones where we know that our involvement in a case helped our client achieve a better result than he/she would have without our help. Sometimes our analysis supports a client’s separate or marital claim to an asset and we are able to help them establish that claim. Sometimes we find hidden assets or are able to demonstrate that assets are not hidden. Sometimes, we are simply able to help a client understand his/her financial position to put them in a position to negotiate more effectively. Sometimes, we are able to recommend a creative financial solution to an issue that benefits both parties and helps resolve a case in mediation, instead of having the parties incur the significant expense of trial. And sometimes, we present our findings to judge and juries to assist them in understanding the financial issues so that they can make an informed decision at trial.

We enjoy working with experienced family law attorneys who bring us into a case early in the process, allowing us to assist with discovery, financial analysis, settlement discussions/mediations, and trial preparation if necessary. Those are the cases where we work most efficiently and effectively and can provide the most value.

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IAG Forensics

IAG Forensics & Valuation is a CPA firm that specializes in forensic accounting, fraud investigation, business valuation and litigation support.

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