Recently, we wrote a blog summarizing the different types of expert witnesses that are often used in divorce cases to help parties reach a more equitable arrangement. This month, we're digging deeper into the topic of expert witnesses by shining a spotlight on some of the most prominent types, and today's subject is financial witnesses.
To schedule a consultation with our experienced attorneys for your case, contact us online or via phone at (972) 852-8000.
For any case where hidden assets are a concern, forensic accountants can be an incredible resource.
Texas is a community property state, meaning that parties distribute marital assets equally in the event of a divorce. Spouses often find themselves responsible for marital liabilities they weren't even aware of, or assumed they'd be off the hook for. Similarly, spouses may find themselves being asked to split marital assets they assumed they would be able to keep.
As a result, individuals sometimes attempt to hide assets from their spouses. This is particularly common in high-asset divorces, where millions of dollars in marital assets could be on the line.
Common ways people hide assets include:
- Failing to report separate assets they own to the court to appear less financially stable than they are;
- Taking out "loans" from friends they won't ever have to pay back to appear in debt;
- Sifting business revenue through employees or friends to make their business appear less profitable than it is;
- Liquidating assets to buy material items of equivalent value, which they intend to then hide from the court and resell post-divorce to recoup their losses;
- And more.
A forensic accountant can help your attorney dig into expense documents, tax returns, revenue and sales documents, financial strategies and forecasts, and more to help determine whether someone is hiding assets during a divorce.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
Taxes often change significantly post-divorce. A CPA can help you understand how your financial status will be impacted by your divorce.
Additionally, a CPA will be able to provide you with expert financial advice on how you can maintain a good cash flow during and after your divorce. Working with a CPA may cost you some in the short-term, but long-term, it can be invaluable for helping you establish a strong financial base that enables you to thrive post-divorce.
CPAs can often spot financial inconsistencies, helping you get your books in order or provide information to a forensic accountant which could lead to important developments in your case.
If you or your spouse own a business and business income or the enterprise itself is considered a marital asset, you'll want a business appraiser on hand.
To determine how business income or businesses are distributed during a divorce, the parties must reach an agreement on how much the business is worth. A business appraiser will streamline that process, helping you effectively identify the value of your business using financial evidence that can't be easily disputed by the other party.
At O'Neil Wysocki, P.C., we help clients navigate complex divorce cases. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (972) 852-8000. Stay tuned for part two of this blog series, which discusses expert witnesses for custody cases!