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Should I Hire a Forensic Accountant During My Wisconsin Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law

Waukesha County family law attorney high-asset divorce

Even though a divorce, for most people, is an emotional and often painful process, it is important to remember that it is first and foremost a legal process. Much of the divorce process is used to untangle the complicated web of finances that many couples find themselves in. Even so, it can be overwhelming for the average person to sort through compiled financial data, especially in the case of high-asset divorces. Divorces involving expensive or large assets can often also result in conflict, increasing the risk that spouses will be uncooperative with one another. Forensic accountants are often hired in high-asset divorces to analyze the couple’s financial records and in turn, ensure the property and debt division process is fair and balanced.

Some people do not realize the value that a forensic accountant can bring to a contested divorce, but there are various ways in which a forensic accountant can be helpful: 

  • High-asset divorces involve various types of assets. In a typical situation, a couple may have assets such as a home, one or two vehicles, and a retirement account or two. In a high-asset divorce, there are many different types of assets that, in many cases, spouses do not know about or how to find them.

  • Designating marital and nonmarital property can become complicated. Deciding what is marital and nonmarital property is usually straightforward, but there are situations in which things can become tricky. Usually, anything acquired by either spouse before the marriage or through gift or the death of another is considered to be nonmarital property. However, non-marital property can become commingled with marital property and lose its “individual property” status.

  • It is important to ensure you have an accurate valuation of your assets. Before you go into the asset division phase, it is a good idea to have an accurate valuation of what those assets are actually worth. If you do not have an accurate idea of what those assets are worth, you could be cheating yourself out of an equal share of the marital estate. A forensic accountant can ensure your spouse is not under- or overvaluing your assets. 

  • High-asset and high-conflict divorces often go hand-in-hand with hidden assets. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to hire a forensic accountant is because they can investigate any claims of hidden assets that you may have. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, underreporting income, or falsely decreasing the value of his or her business, a forensic accountant is the one professional you should have on your team to help.

Our Waukesha County High-Asset Divorce Attorneys Are Here to Help

High-asset and high-conflict divorces can be overwhelming, especially if you do not know where to start. At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our family law attorneys have more than 40 years of combined legal experience and have helped numerous families find solutions for various issues that come up during a divorce. If you are thinking of beginning the process of divorce, you should speak with a knowledgeable New Berlin high-asset divorce lawyer. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 262-232-6699.

 

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/767/vii/61

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2014/09/04/why-a-forensic-accountant-belongs-on-your-divorce-team/?sh=3a78491b718a

 

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