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When Do You Need a Forensic Expert in a Divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | Divorce

Couples going through a divorce in Georgia are required to divide their marital property equitably and fairly. However, to avoid sharing assets with their estranged partner, some deceitful spouses may decide to hide their property and finances. In the event of financial infidelity, hiring a forensic expert may be required to uncover the truth about hidden assets and income. A seasoned Georgia family law attorney can enlighten you about your options regarding using a forensic accountant in your divorce proceedings.

E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC is committed to offering knowledgeable guidance and advocacy to clients in family law and divorce-related matters. Attorney Banks-Ware is available to discuss your unique situation, enlighten you about the role of a forensic expert, and determine whether you need one in your marital dissolution. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC is proud to serve clients throughout Lithonia, Covington, Conyers, Decatur, and McDonough, Georgia.

Commonly Hidden Assets or Income

Some of the most common assets divorcing spouses usually hide from their partner include:

  • Cash
  • Real estate property
  • Jewelry, art, and collectibles
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Bank accounts
  • Pension plans
  • 401(k) and retirement funds
  • Business assets
  • Life insurance with cash value
  • Extra income from rentals, royalties, or investments

An experienced divorce lawyer can work intelligently with a qualified forensic accountant to help you unearth any hidden assets, property, and income in an attempt to recover what is rightfully yours.

The Role of a Forensic Expert

In a divorce case, a forensic expert is a professional who is usually called upon to assist in various stages of the divorce process that require unearthing hidden property, exposing fraud, and investigating finance-related issues. Here are some of the roles of a forensic expert in a divorce case:

  • Work to locate hidden assets
  • Conduct appraisals of business properties, real estate properties, and other assets
  • Assist in the divorce discovery process
  • Analyze tax returns and financial statements
  • Calculate alimony/spousal support and child support payments
  • Enlighten clients about potential financial liabilities
  • Trace asset ownership or history
  • Act as an expert witness

Generally, forensic accountants are often of great assistance in divorce cases where one spouse suspects the other party of financial infidelity. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about the forensic expert’s role in your divorce and determine whether you need one.

When to Use a Forensic Expert

You may need the expertise of a forensic accountant if your divorce case involves any of the following circumstances:

  • You suspect your partner of hiding assets and income.
  • You need to investigate money-related issues.
  • Your estranged partner is trying to manipulate the value of assets to seek an inequitable outcome.
  • You need accurate information about your assets, investments, and income.
  • A business valuation is required to divide company assets.
  • You want to differentiate between separate and marital assets.

Hiring a forensic expert is often advisable for divorces involving high-net-worth individuals or high-value assets. A trusted attorney can educate you about the penalties for hiding assets in a divorce and determine how a forensic expert can help secure a fair asset division and financial settlement.

Penalties for Hiding Assets

Here are some of the penalties and consequences of hiding assets in a divorce case:

  • Massive fines
  • Prison sentence
  • Pay attorney fees of your ex-spouse
  • Reimbursement of the asset’s value
  • Your spouse may be awarded a larger distribution in the divorce settlement and marital assets
  • Loss of respect and credibility

In addition, hiding assets in a divorce involves perjury: lying under oath or during court proceedings. This is a serious felony charge in the state of Georgia. A skilled divorce lawyer can help protect your best interests, uncover hidden assets, and attempt to hold your deceitful ex-spouse liable for their unethical actions.

Legal Advocacy You Can Trust

If you suspect your soon-to-be ex-partner of trying to hide or manipulate their income and assets, hiring a seasoned divorce lawyer and forensic expert is crucial. Contact E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC today to schedule a simple consultation. The firm is proud to serve clients throughout Lithonia, Covington, Conyers, Decatur, and McDonough, Georgia.