By Grant Webb
However, this fraudulent financial activity is not limited to just men. More and more women are in charge of handling their family’s finances, meaning that a woman may be just as likely to hide assets from her husband in order to manipulate a ruling in her favor.
The important thing to know is that when one spouse possesses the bulk of a household's financial control, he or she naturally gains the upper hand in their monetary affairs, making it easier to hide assets.
Divorce Attorneys Utilize Forensic Accountants To Uncover Assets
One of the first things a husband can do when he suspects his wife is not being truthful about her financial situation is to hire a forensic accountant early in the process. These highly qualified experts are able to investigate financial documents and holdings to an extent that no divorce attorney or suspicious spouse is able to.
Forensic accountants have achieved a depth of financial training that helps them target key areas of financial concern and unearth information that would otherwise go undetected.
Forensic accountants, through their microscopic document analysis and thorough understanding of financial reporting, can help their clients navigate the often intimidating and confusing litigation process. They are also able to provide credible and reliable expert testimony in court and help with creative and logical settlement solutions.
Often times a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) will be brought into the picture as well. CPAs can provide similar insight to that of a forensic accountant by comparing the conventional filings of married couples with the recent financial activity that has taken place since the married couple recognized a divorce was imminent.
It is a best practice to hire the right CPA because not all CPAs have the same level of experience in working with forensics compared to that of forensic accountants who are all experts at their one trade.
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Female Spouses Attempt To Manipulate Rulings by Hiding Assets
It’s not always easy to determine whether a spouse is hiding assets. One of the first things a forensic accountant will do is to actually explore whether there indeed has been suspicious financial activity. Emotions and resentment often run high during a divorce causing individuals to make accusations and decisions that may not be rational or reasonable.
For example, in one household, the husband is primary breadwinner, but the wife is responsible for all the finances. She creates a strict budget allowing him a certain amount of spending money each week.
Meanwhile, she pays all the bills and makes the majority of the financial decisions. In cases like this, the wife has much more opportunity to engage in potential financial secrecy that she feels will be to her advantage in the event of a divorce.
The other thing to consider is that when a spouse hides assets, it tends to begin at a certain, defined point, typically the event or moment when one or both parties realize the marriage is doomed. This may be when an affair is discovered, when there is an unresolved argument, or when one partner realizes he or she wants to separate or divorce.
A forensic accountant will use this moment as their baseline for investigating any hidden assets. He or she will leave no stone unturned in the investigation and will be able to gather and analyze all discoveries in such a way that they can presented in court, if necessary.
Ideally, the forensic accountant will work as a team with the mens divorce attorney for the duration of the case and continue to offer his or her expertise and experience in order to help achieve the best possible financial settlement for the client.
Grant Webb writes and reports on accounting and accounting law in addition to the best practices for becoming a CPA.