Do I Need a Forensic Accountant in My Divorce?


If you are involved in a high-asset or high net worth divorce, it is wise to work with a “forensic accountant” to determine the value of you and your spouse’s assets and properly divide community property fairly. Working together with your divorce attorney, a forensic accountant will analyze bank records, tax returns, contracts, and other financial documents to help the court determine a wide range of divorce-related issues. 

The following are several reasons why you may need a forensic accountant in your divorce: 

  • Assistance in the discovery process – During the pre-settlement or pretrial phase of a divorce, both spouses may engage in formal or informal “discovery,” which is compelled disclosure of each sides’ financial documents and information through depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories, and other court-ordered motions and examinations. The accountant will ensure these legal steps are taken and the proper documents and information are collected. 

  • Valuation of assets – Forensic accountants specialize in tracing commingled assets to determine what is marital (community) and separate property, value businesses and professional practices, separate personal and business expenses, and figure out each sides’ monthly income. 

  • Help determine child support and spousal support – If one or both spouses are self-employed, lawyers must conduct an income analysis to determine the correct amount of alimony and/or child support. 

  • Discover hidden assets and other financial inconsistencies – It is not uncommon for one or both parties to hide assets and/or income. The accountant will compare each spouse’s financial claims and their records, and make sure all reported income and property are verified and on record. 

  • Testify in court – An important job forensic accountants must perform is to testify in court or in a deposition. 

Most couples and lawyers may benefit from hiring a forensic accountant early on in the case to avoid litigation on financial issues down the road. Speak with your attorney to decide if an accountant is necessary for your divorce. 

Involved in a high net worth divorce in the Bronx? Contact Empire Law today at (347) 378-1170 to learn how we can help you. Schedule a free case evaluation immediately! 

Share To: