California is a "community property" state. This means that in
the event of a divorce, each spouse is entitled to half of the marital
assets, the assets accumulated
during the course of the marriage with a few exceptions, such as gifts and an
Considering how much a wealthy spouse stands to lose in a divorce, it's
no wonder why wealthy couples are engaging forensic accountants. Often,
when a wealthy spouse hires a forensic accountant, it's to take a
closer look into:
- Investment portfolios
- Real estate
- Retirement plans
- Life insurance
For an ultra-wealthy couple, it's impossible to appropriately divide
the marital assets, or know what they're worth without a forensic
accountant. Divorce lawyers are not the ones that determine the value
of all of the different assets held by the couple; that's what a forensic
accountant is for.
When it comes to assets held in partnerships and trusts, or located in
different states, getting a proper valuation is complicated and requires
the expertise of a qualified accountant.
When Spouses Play Dirty
Another issue is when spouses play dirty and hide a portion of the marital
assets so they don't have to share. This can get especially complicated
when the spouse privately owns a business. Business owners have been known
to create fake debt, dummy corporations, or pad the payroll to conceal
assets from their spouse.
Additionally, it can be difficult to determine a spouse's true income.
Spouses often use tactics to report less income than what they're
really earning. That's where the forensic accountant comes in.
The forensic accountant can dig into bank accounts, tax returns, investment
portfolios, etc. to determine the real value of the assets and the spouse's
The best way to ensure a fair divorce settlement is to hire a high-caliber
divorce team, which often includes a forensic accountant. Contact our
Los Angeles divorce attorneys today!