If you and your spouse are a high-asset Maryland couple preparing for a divorce, you may begin to wonder if (s)he is trying to hide marital assets from you so as to better his or her financial position when it comes time to construct the property settlement agreement.
Unfortunately, as FindLaw explains, vindictive and/or greedy spouses have attempted to hide assets for decades when it came time to divorce. Today’s technology, however, puts a new twist on this old ploy. Thanks to the internet and people’s access to it via computer, laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc., asset-hiding spouses can carry out their endeavors far more easily and effectively than they could in the past. In fact, you and your divorce attorney may need to hire a forensic accountant in order to find these assets.
Forensic accountant abilities
Forensic accountants represent a different breed from regular accountants and even most CPAs. They have specialized education and training that allow them to do the following:
- Find and track hidden assets
- Examine and analyze spousal cash flows and all financial documents to determine if any discrepancies exist
- Discover, analyze and value spousal business and real estate interests
- Determine and value the separate property and marital property you and your spouse own
- Compute and explain the tax consequences of any proposed property settlement
In addition to finding a forensic accountant who can do all of the above, you also will want him or her to be able to clearly and succinctly communicate complicated financial concepts and calculations to lay people. Why? Because (s)he will be your expert witness at your divorce hearing or trial. Consequently, (s)he must be able to explain everything in a way the judge and jury can understand.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.