The Use of Financial Experts in Divorce Cases
Many divorce cases involve complex financial issues which may often be simplified by the engagement of a financial professional. The employment of an experienced financial expert (combined with an attorney who frequently handles complex financial cases) can be particularly helpful in such situations especially when one spouse is a financial professional such as a C.P.A. While many attorneys are certainly able to make cogent legal arguments about the alleged income of an opposing party or equitable division of various assets or debts, and the judge to rule on such issues, a financial expert can be instrumental in forensically researching and clearly explaining what exactly there is to divide and how their numbers where calculated.
For example, suppose the Wife in a divorce is a partner in a business formed prior to her marriage to her Husband. This situation invites a host of possible disagreements between the parties including the income of the Wife, the overall worth of the business, the Wife’s portion of the business’ worth, and the marital value of Wife’s portion. A trained forensic accountant would be able shed light on each such quandary, as well figure out the most cost-effective way to divide the marital portion of the business and any relevant tax ramifications for such division.
Oftentimes, both parties will hire financial experts in such a situation. While this sometimes invites divergent expert opinions on the same set of facts, it is very common for the experts to agree about the basic numbers at stake, regardless of how things will be divided. This brings a great amount of clarity to what began as a murky financial picture. Indeed, if the experts can agree about what there is to divide, it is much easier to begin settlement discussions. It also becomes easier to make arguments in court if both parties stipulate to the value of the marital estate.
At Kessler, Schwarz & Solomiany we value our relationships with forensic accountants and other financial experts. Not only do they make our jobs easier, they help our clients tremendously.