The trust eroded from your marriage so much so that divorce seems the most realistic option. That lack of trust has touched many facets of your marriage as you have long suspected your spouse of certain suspicious activities, including hiding assets.
This is the time that you not only need the legal guidance of a skilled attorney, but also the razor-sharp abilities of a forensic accountant. This latter professional is an accountant, auditor and investigator all rolled into one. This person is on a mission to find fraud, criminal behavior and general wrongdoing with uncovering hidden assets being among them.
Unreported income and phony debt
Relying on analysis and knowledge, a forensic accountant thoroughly investigates documents in an attempt to find financial secrets. This professional knows where to look and likely knows every ploy used by financial wrongdoers. When enlisted in difficult divorce cases, forensic accountants work in tandem with the divorce attorney.
In divorce cases, a forensic accountant seeks to find a spouse’s spending habits when reviewing documents such as tax returns, credit card statements as well as public records. Among the questionable things this professional may find include:
- Unreported income: Such income can be found by reviewing documents from employers, financial institutions and credit card companies.
- Evidence of shell corporations: When used illegitimately, they provide a haven for hiding assets and shady business dealings.
- Payroll fraud: Business owners may do this in ways that include making payments to non-existent or terminated employees.
- Phony debt: Such “debt” often is in the form of overpayments to creditors or through collusion with family and friends to hide money passed off as debt.
- Cash acquisitions for luxury goods: The purchase of jewelry, sports cars and designer clothing may be signs your spouse spends money on a paramour.
A forensic accountant is up to the task of peeling away layers of falsehoods and inconsistencies.
Uncovering financial misdeeds
When a spouse attempts to hide marital assets and pursues other financial misdeeds, you know that you need additional assistance. Working with your attorney, a forensic accountant has the know-how to uncover what your spouse has attempted to hide.