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Why You May Need a Forensic Accountant for Your Long Island Divorce

by | Apr 30, 2019 | Property Division, NY

Finances are one of the most common issues in a Long Island divorce, and even more so in a high net worth divorce. You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must fully disclose your assets, and if one of you is found hiding assets, you could face serious penalties. Often, one spouse will hire a forensic accountant if they believe their spouse may hide assets to avoid paying as much in the divorce settlement and later in spousal support (alimony)  or child support.

However, whether you believe your spouse has the propensity for dishonesty or not, if there’s a lot of money at stake, a forensic accountant can prove helpful. Here’s what you need to know.

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What Is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant is an accountant that practices within the specialty of forensic accounting or accounting that can produce evidence that is usable in litigation, disputes, and other types of court cases. In a divorce case, a forensic accountant will focus specifically on financial transactions that affect or have the potential to affect the divorce.

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?

When you work with a forensic accountant, you’ll provide as much information about your financial history as you can. The accountant will request bank statements, property deeds, access to valuable assets for appraisal, and more. A forensic accountant can:

  • Identify hidden assets
  • Identify inconsistencies in financial records
  • Accurately assess personal expenses
  • Appraise valuable assets such as art, collectibles and antiques
  • Appraise the value of properties
  • Estimate the financial impact that the divorce will have on the lesser earning spouse to illustrate a need for spousal support or alimony
  • Assess tax returns
  • Assess credit card and debit card statements
  • Review investment portfolios

Before hiring a forensic accountant, ask several questions about their experience and the processes they use to do their job. Make sure you are comfortable with this person because you’ll be providing them with a high level of access to your financial records. Your divorce lawyer can help you connect with a forensic accountant you can trust and who your attorney has experience working with in other divorce cases.

What are the Benefits of Having a Forensic Accountant?

There are a number of different benefits of working with a forensic accountant in a high net worth divorce or in a divorce where you suspect that your ex may be hiding assets. After the accountant reviews your financial records in detail, they will record any transactions or financial behaviors that cannot be attributed to normal activity. Any questionable behavior will be investigated and analyzed to determine where money or assets are going and if the transactions are, in fact, legitimate.

A forensic accountant can be particularly beneficial in contentious contested divorce cases, whether they are high net worth or not. Before dividing assets and property in a divorce, it’s important to make sure that all assets have been disclosed. If your soon-to-be-ex accidentally or purposefully does not disclose their assets and property, it could shortchange you in the final divorce settlement.

Your assets and property can only be divided and a settlement reached with the information that is available, so if there’s less there than should be, that’s all that will be considered during the division process. It’s in your best interest to ensure that full financial disclosure is made before assets and property are divided.

Contact an Experienced Long Island Divorce Law Firm Today to Learn if You Need a Forensic Accountant

If you’re considering divorce as an option or are already involved in dissolving your marriage, it’s important to have a strong legal advocate on your side. It’s easy to let details slip by when you’re stressed and emotionally drained from the divorce itself, and your lawyer can help you focus on what is important at each stage of your divorce. Your attorney will fiercely campaign for your legal rights and best interests, so you can be confident that you’re as protected as possible at every turn.

Contact our Long Island divorce law firm today for more information about working with a forensic accountant in your divorce or to simply connect with an experienced divorce lawyer who is ready to help you. Call now at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation and case evaluation.

For more information about Property Division in your divorce, visit our Complete Guide to Dividing Property in Divorce.

 

 

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Jenny Allen
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13:26 18 Jun 22
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
Elizabeth Martin
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21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
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I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
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00:21 07 Aug 21
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Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with divorce.read more
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Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more
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