Divorce can bring out the worst in people. The threat of losing a significant portion of one’s income and assets as a result of the property division process can make people act in ways that are against all logic and reason. In some cases, Georgia spouses may even attempt to hide assets to shelter them from losses during divorce. This is not only a terribly unethical course of action, it is also against the law.
When a Georgia spouse feels that their husband or wife is not accurately assessing income or assets, one course of action is to employ the services of a forensic accountant. A good divorce lawyer will be able to recommend a forensic accountant that he or she has previously worked with, or whose work they are familiar with. These professionals know how to review the books of a business, or comb through an individual’s personal finances, in order to uncover and discrepancies or inaccuracies.
Having a forensic accountant working on one’s behalf can greatly aid the property division process. If improper accounting is uncovered, the guilty spouse may feel pressured to simply settle, rather than risking having questionable accounting become a central focus in a court hearing. In other cases, the property division advantages that are based upon the findings of a forensic accountant can more than make up for the cost of hiring such a professional.
One leading forensic accountant who has published a book on the topic urges spouses not to feel overwhelmed or defeated by their belief that their spouse has hidden assets. In many cases, attempts to hide assets are extremely amateurish and easily detected. Many unethical spouses use the same tired tactics to try and mask their true financial state, and both accountants and divorce judges are familiar with these methods. A professional forensic accountant can delve into the records and receipts to determine if a Georgia spouse is receiving a fair share of the property division settlement.
Source: Bloomberg, “Hunting for Hidden Cash In Divorce Proceedings,” Ben Steverman, June 3, 2013