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Forensic accountants could help divorcing spouses

Some New York spouses facing divorce might try to pull one over on their soon-to-be ex by using strategies like padding payroll records from their business to make their income seem lower than it is. Some people might be able to catch these dishonest tactics but a forensic accountant is almost guaranteed to do so as well as offer other valuable services that could lead to a more equitable division of assets.

Changing payroll records is just one thing a forensic accountant might uncover. Spouses sometimes transfer assets to dummy corporations to avoid having to share them. Other common ploys include faking debt, giving creditors more money than they actually owe and reporting less income. Forensic accountants are trained to uncover fraud and find hidden assets, which might lead to a significantly larger settlement for their clients. These accountants could also testify in court to fraudulent findings or simply give an account of assets and liabilities so that spouses do not have to be crossexamined by their former partner's legal team.

Another way a forensic accountant might benefit a divorcing spouse is by making sense of disorganized records. Sometimes, people leave out important information or include a lot of irrelevant documents in an effort to confuse their ex. Not having a clear understanding of assets or their value makes it possible for someone to be cheated out of a fair settlement amount. An accountant provides certainty and protection against unscrupulous behavior.

Going through a divorce might be the hardest thing some people have to do, but once it is over most people can move on to a fresh start. Hiring a forensic accountant along with an attorney gives divorcing spouses peace of mind that everything possible was done to ensure that an equitable settlement was reached, sparing them potential stress and anxiety that might come with wondering if something important was missed.

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

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