When affluent couples go through a divorce, a maze of complicated financial difficulties may surface. Journeying through these catacombs of financial and real estate investments along with stock options can take a great amount of time to unravel.
Such situations likely happen even if the spouses are cooperative and on speaking terms. However, if the opposite is true, expect a potentially drawn-out legal fight while dividing those assets. This represents the opportune time to rely on the skills of a forensic accountant. Working side-by-side with your attorney, a forensic accountant uncovers financial truths knowingly or unknowingly hidden among your assets.
Finding underreported income
Not only do forensic accountants rely on their skillfully trained eyes and minds, they also rely on intuition. They have seen just about every trick that someone may use to hide assets, swiftly recognizing every red flag of wrongdoing.
Here are a few of the details that a forensic accountant may find out when looking for hidden assets:
- Underreporting income: This may lead to the discovery of the diversion of assets elsewhere. Also, a spouse may have a wink-and-a-nod agreement with an employer to delay job-related bonuses.
- Overpaying creditors: Such a tactic is another method used to hide assets.
- Creating fake debt owed to friends, relatives and businesses: Repaying bogus debts is not uncommon when hiding assets.
- Transferring assets to a fake entity: The discovery of dummy corporations gets you closer to finding the assets that rightfully belong to you.
- Buying expensive items with cash: Hidden money may be used to purchase luxury items, trips abroad and even tuition for a spouse’s paramour.
A forensic accountant more than likely can find a needle in a haystack. Services from such a professional are invaluable when making an inventory of all assets, including hidden ones.