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When forensic accounting is helpful in divorce

Any person in Alaska who is contemplating a divorce will need some sort of plan to determine how to divide up the couple's marital properly fairly. Alaska law in general follows the principle of equitable distribution, requiring the court to divide assets in a way that is as fair as possible to both parties. However, this is not possible until all the marital assets are known and their actual value has been determined.

Some divorces will not require much in the way of property division, as there are very few assets. However, in the case of a high-asset divorce or a divorce where there is reason to believe that one spouse is less than forthcoming or is attempting to conceal property, the services of a forensic accountant can be invaluable. Such a professional often has the ability to assemble a complete financial picture and accurate assessment of all properties.

Forensic accountants can appraise complex assets as well as detecting concealed assets. They can be useful in coming up with the fair market value for unusual properties such as restricted stocks, objects of exceptional monetary value, insurance plans and trusts. If fraudulent or unethical practices have been used by one spouse against the other, then a forensic analysis of their accounts will often reveal what they have hidden and how they hid it.

Once the economic picture is assembled, the divorcing client can begin to work out the property division based on unbiased information. Whether the negotiation is carried out between the two parties or there is a need for recourse to the court, an attorney can be helpful to a client throughout this process.

Source: Forbes, "Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team", Jeff Landers, September 04, 2014

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