Forensic Accountants and Business Valuators in Divorce Cases
Getting a divorce can be emotionally and financially taxing. Not only are you physically separating from your spouse, but you must also face the difficult task of separating your assets. This can be a daunting task, as discussing money often creates arguments and further emotional division between spouses, even in the best of situations.
At The Law Office of Jacobs Berger, we understand how hard it can be to face the difficulties of a divorce process, and because we are fully aware of this situation, our caring team will be your trusted advocate as we follow the steps in the entire process. If you are considering divorce, the help of a trusted Morristown divorce lawyer is highly recommended to ensure your case is taken care of until the end. Call us 973-710-4366 to start working on your case.
Financial Professionals Objectively Investigate and Provide Guidance During Divorce
In many cases, it is impossible for the parties to have all of the answers. In these situations, their attorneys may seek the assistance of other professionals to determine the value of assets that are subject to division and the true financial status of the parties. You may need the assistance of accountants, forensic accountants or business valuators to objectively investigate all of the documentation and information pertaining to financials. The professionals then render an opinion as to these very important matters, providing guidance for your consideration during the divorce.
What if my spouse is hiding money during divorce?
If you believe that your spouse may have hidden money, or makes more money than he or she says, you may want to hire a forensic accountant. A forensic account may be able to trace the sources of income, to do business valuations, and review financial disclosures and tax documents. Upon reviewing all documents, the forensic accountant may be able to determine the truth or veracity of your spouse’s declarations with regard to income. A forensic accountant may also assist when both parties are forthcoming about the assets but still need assistance with how the division of assets will impact the taxes that they pay. This can include other tax consequences from sources of income such as businesses.
Business Valuations and Joint Investments Require Experts During Divorce
Many married people spend many years together and acquire various assets, which coupled with the debts, can be difficult to easily divide. For instance, perhaps you and your spouse have opened and owned several businesses and have assets associated with those businesses that have not been valued.
A business valuation may occur to determine an accurate value of the business. Things such as the income, assets, tax filings, holdings, debts, financial books, and receipts would be reviewed to determine what the business is actually worth. One party may claim that the other party is hiding income belonging to the business and that they have personal knowledge of the real earnings. The evaluator will look at all evidence to determine the “value” that should be applied to the business and how it should be divided.
Debt and Complex Asset Division
As many of us know, debt is a fundamental fact of life and along with assets, debts are created. One common example of debt is owning a home that the couple purchased using a mortgage loan. Perhaps the couple paid $500,000 for their home, paid $200,000 toward the loan, owe $300,000, and the home has a fair market value of $800,000. The accountant would take into consideration what is owed and offset it against what the proven equity is, together with the difference in the fair market value. The difference between the debt and the fair market value would be considered an asset, while the amount owed on the loan would be a debt. This asset and debt would be tallied or calculated against the other assets and debts in the marriage. The forensic accountant’s review of all documents would assist the parties in valuing their entire estate and help in determining equitable distribution.
Hiring a Tax Accountant to Determine Equitable Distribution
Likewise, a tax accountant will review the tax consequences that each party may incur as a result of claiming certain assets or debts. The accountant will provide advice on how each person’s personal income tax would be impacted by the assets or debts or payment of alimony. Sometimes, a valuation of a business is necessary in conjunction with a calculation of tax effects.
Contact our divorce attorneys and leverage a specialized network of professionals in your case
Each divorce is different and may require different professionals to assist during equitable distribution and potential complex division of assets. If you have concerns over business valuations, taxes, or estate assets and debts, a tax professional or business appraiser may be necessary.
Contact Jacobs Berger today to discuss how any of these professionals, coupled with our legal expertise, can be of assistance to you. Our firm works closely with a top-notch network of knowledgeable financial advisers who will assist you in developing a personalized plan, along with your experienced divorce attorney, that aims to cover all aspects of your divorce. Don´t hesitate to contact us online, or through our Morristown office at 973-710-4366.