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When Do You Need a Forensic Expert in a Divorce? 

Law Office of Karen S. Brown Aug. 17, 2022

Offended Young Couple Ready for DivorceDivorces can be a messy business, even if both spouses are on relatively good speaking terms with one another. However, if one or both spouses are unable to communicate effectively or attempt to hide crucial financial information from one another, you’ll not only need the help of an experienced divorce attorney, but you’ll also need a forensic accountant to find any hidden assets.  

If you’re considering divorce and suspect your soon-to-be-ex spouse may be hiding something from you, contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown to schedule a consultation. From her office in Los Angeles, Karen S. Brown can help clients throughout the region, including Ventura County, Orange County, and San Bernardino County, California. 

Commonly Hidden Assets or Income 

Unfortunately, when a divorce is on the horizon, some spouses may actively try hiding assets to avoid splitting them during the divorce proceedings or to avoid paying large amounts of alimony or child support. Though this is an illegal practice, it happens all too frequently, especially for couples who may hold a high net worth either individually or as a couple. 

Some common methods for hiding assets include opening accounts without informing the other spouse, undervaluing certain antiques or artwork, keeping cash in the form of travelers’ checks, underreporting income on taxes, or hiding profits and earnings on business forms. 

The Role of a Forensic Expert 

You may be asking yourself, “Do I need a forensic expert for my divorce?” The truth is that many attorneys don’t have the skill set to adequately investigate and uncover these details, and you need someone who specializes in this line of work. If you’re serious about getting your fair share of the settlement, you need a forensic expert for divorce. 

Essentially, a forensic accountant can help during a high asset divorce to ensure that every financial aspect is uncovered so there can be a just and equitable division. They will work closely with your family law attorney and can analyze accounts, financial documents, tax returns, contracts, and business documents to check for accuracy. They can also help with the process of discovery and use witness depositions from colleagues, business partners, or financial advisors to expose the truth. 

When to Use a Forensic Expert 

If you know you have a complex divorce, suspect that your spouse may be hiding money, or you’ll be dividing a business in divorce, employing a forensic account is almost always a wise decision. They can also be helpful if you have concerns over getting a fair judgment on spousal support or child support. If you know your spouse holds a lot of assets that were acquired since your marriage, or if you or your spouse had a large amount of assets before your marriage, using a forensic accountant can ensure that everyone is acting above board and not trying to hide anything. 

How the Law Office of Karen S. Brown Can Help 

While working with a forensic accountant can be helpful, it’s essential that they work in tandem with your divorce attorney. Your attorney is an indispensable part of this equation because while an accountant can bring to light certain factors, it’s your attorney who will then use this information to negotiate on your behalf. This is especially important in a state like California because of its “community property” laws. Even if a certain asset was acquired before you were married, if there were community contributions made during the marriage, you’ll be due a portion of those assets.   

Helping You Fight to Protect What’s Yours 

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in the Los Angeles County area with the skills and experience to help you achieve an equitable divorce, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Karen S. Brown. Serving the communities of Beverly Hills, Encino, Studio City, Hancock Park, Santa Monica, South Bay, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Torrance, and Long Beach for over 45 years, Karen S. Brown can educate you on your options and set you on the right path.