High-asset divorce cases often involve significant financial intricacies not present in typical divorce cases. Financial issues can be relatively straightforward to sort out when both spouses are open and forthcoming about financial information. However, when a spouse undervalues their property, fails to disclose all sources of income, or otherwise withholds financial information, the case gets much more complicated.
Forensic accounting is a process during which financial information is analyzed to identify, appraise, and locate assets. If you or your spouse own high-value real estate, investments, business interests, or other complex assets and you plan to divorce, forensic accounting can be a useful tool during your divorce process.
Identifying Marital and Non-Marital Assets with Forensic Accounting
Marital assets are assets that were accumulated during the marriage. Non-marital assets include gifts, inheritances, and assets accumulated before the marriage.
However, determining what is a marital asset and what is a non-marital asset is much more complicated than this. For example, inheritance is typically considered a non-marital asset, but if it is mixed with marital assets, it can be transmuted into a marital asset. There can also be confusion about when an asset was obtained and whether marital or non-marital funds were used to purchase an asset.
Forensic accounting can be used to determine the origin of an asset and whether it should be included in the marital estate or considered a non-marital asset during divorce.
Finding Hidden Assets and Income
The most common reason that forensic accounting is used during a divorce is to find hidden assets. Some divorcing spouses try to avoid sharing wealth by transferring money to offshore accounts, physically hiding cash or valuables in safe deposit boxes, or manipulating business financials to decrease the perceived value of the business.
Divorcing spouses may also fail to disclose all of their income to reduce their child support or spousal support obligation. Forensic accounting is a process of carefully investigating financial information, bank statements, and spending habits to find clues of financial deception.
Divorcing spouses with significant wealth are highly encouraged to work with a divorce lawyer experienced in high-asset divorce cases.
Contact Our DuPage County High-Asset Divorce Lawyers
Identifying, valuing, and dividing high-value assets during a divorce case is a complicated process that must be handled cautiously and efficiently.
At Goostree Law Group, our Wheaton high-income divorce lawyers understand the complexities involved in high-asset divorce cases. We have extensive experience in property division matters, including finding hidden assets and undisclosed income. Call 630-364-4046 for a free, private initial consultation.