Financial forensics is a category of accounting used for a variety of different purposes, including during divorce cases. If you are currently going through a divorce and your spouse runs his or her own business, you may be suspicious that he or she is hiding assets and money from you. If so, your divorce lawyer might suggest hiring a forensic accountant for help. If you are in this situation and want a fair divorce settlement, a forensic accountant can help you in the following ways.
Locating And Valuing All Assets
In many marriages, one of the spouses is often in charge of the finances. This spouse typically knows exactly what assets they own, how much money they have, and what debts are due, while the other spouse may not have a clue. If you are in a similar situation and do not really have any idea where you stand financially, a good place to start is by investigating the assets you actually own.
If there are assets that your spouse has in just his or her name, you may be entitled to half of their worth. The trick here is finding these assets, and this is not an easy task for most people. A forensic accountant may be able to help, though.
Forensic accountants know how to perform searches to find assets. They may complete physical inspections of your home, workplace, or other properties you own, and they will find any assets your spouse is trying to hide. They may also search through public records to look for asset titles or deeds.
Calculating The Income Of A Spouse
Another way your spouse might try to cheat you in the divorce is by hiding some of his or her income. Hiding income is not hard to do when you own a business, but it can take some work to find the missing income.
The goal of finding out how much money your spouse really makes will be important if you have children and will be receiving child support for the kids. If your spouse underestimates his or her income, the child support amount you will receive will be lower than it should be.
Financial accountants are able to find and calculate a person's true income by reviewing a lot of different documents. This can include bank statements, pay stubs, business records, credit card statements, and receipts from major purchases.
Valuing A Business
Finally, if your spouse runs his or her own business, you may be entitled to half of the business's net worth. The trouble with this is finding out how much the business is actually worth. Placing a dollar amount on a business is difficult, primarily because every business is unique in many ways. The value of your spouse's business will not only include the assets the business owns, but it can also include the value of the inventory, the reputation, and many other things.
If your lawyer believes you are entitled to half of the business's worth, hiring a forensic accounting firm is the best way to find the true value of the organization. This process may take some time, but it will be worth it for you in the long run. When the accountant begins working on this, he or she will need to visit the business, inspect all the assets, and review the company's financial statements. Once the process is complete, you will receive a business valuation report, which you can use in court when settling your divorce.
Divorces can be complex when a couple owns a business and has a lot of assets, and this is why using a forensic accountant is important. To learn more, contact an office that specializes in financial forensics, or visit a website like http://www.eppsforensics.com.