Should you decide to obtain a Texas divorce, you may discover that you need a forensic accountant on your legal team if your situation falls into the category of a high-asset divorce. Unfortunately, some high-asset spouses attempt to hide assets during a divorce so they do not have to share them with their about-to-be former spouse.
Asset hiding does not constitute a new phenomenon. Rather, greedy and/or vindictive spouses have engaged in this practice for decades. The new wrinkle to asset hiding represents the plethora of ways, many of them electronic, in which spouses can do it nowadays. Consequently, hidden assets become ever more difficult to find, requiring the services of a forensic accountant.
Who to hire
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, discuss your concerns with your divorce attorney and see if (s)he can recommend a forensic accountant with whom (s)he has worked in the past. If not, both of you should search for one with the following skills and capabilities:
- Ability to discover and track electronically hidden assets
- Ability to discover and track the business and/or real estate assets your spouse may attempt to hide from you
- Ability to analyze your spouse’s cash flow and discover discrepancies therein that could signal hidden assets
- Ability to analyze whatever complex financial documents your spouse may have
- Ability to calculate and explain the tax consequences of whatever property settlement agreement your spouse may propose
Keep in mind that your forensic accountant needs to have excellent communication skills in addition to excellent investigative skills. Why? Because you will likely need him or her to serve as your expert witness during your divorce hearing. Thus (s)he will need to be able to explain dry, complicated and/or complex financial issues and calculations so that the judge and/or jury can understand them.