Ending a marriage is difficult under any circumstances. But it becomes a complex and tangled affair when the marriage involves spouses who brought numerous assets into the marriage or acquired them during it. In these situations, a forensic accounting expert plays a crucial role in the marital dissolution by sorting through the financial maze to help arrive at a fair and equitable division of assets.
“Marital dissolution can be a long, involved and costly process,” said David Anderson, principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides marital dissolution and other litigation support services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. “A marital dissolution accountant is uniquely qualified to analyze even the most complicated portfolio a couple can build during a marriage and help both sides resolve key financial issues.”
Anderson, who has served as a marital dissolution accountant in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, said forensic accounting experts can assist in divorce cases in many areas, including:
- Identifying and valuing the couple’s assets at the date of marriage
- Tracking and accounting for each spouse’s financial activities during the marriage
- Identifying and valuing assets of the spouses at the date of separation or other applicable dissolution date
- Searching for hidden assets or hidden income
- Analyzing each spouse’s income and personal expenses to determine support and alimony
- Accounting for post-separation transactions of each spouse.
“When couples wed, they each bring assets into the marriage,” Anderson explained. “There may be securities, real estate, ownership interests in private businesses and other investments. Or they may own a home or a vacation house, or perhaps cars, motorcycles, boats or airplanes. And, of course, there is personal property, such as furniture, antiques, collectibles and artwork, to be considered.”
Anderson, a divorce accountant whose full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley includes marital dissolution and other litigation support services in Philadelphia, said many states allow each spouse to retain the assets they brought into the marriage. The problem, he said, is that in many marriages, some or all of the couple’s assets may have been sold during the marriage with the proceeds invested elsewhere or the proceeds from the sale of one spouse’s pre-martial assets may have been commingled with funds of the other spouse. Attorneys rely on forensic accounting experts to sort out these transactions and properly account for the assets each spouse brought into the marriage, Anderson said.
The analytical skills of a marital dissolution accountant also can be invaluable when couples use marital income to acquire new assets together during the marriage, or when they use marital income to invest in a business that one spouse brought into the marriage. In the latter case, Anderson said, the spouse who was not involved in the business before the marriage would be entitled to share in the increased value of the business that occurred during the marriage.
Divorce accountants often are asked to identify and account for the couple’s total assets and to value them as of the date of separation or other applicable dissolution date as this information is crucial to the divorce settlement, Anderson said.
An already-complex marital dissolution can become contentious when one spouse accuses the other of failing to list certain assets or income. In these cases, a forensic accounting expert will launch an investigation to determine if the assets or income actually exist, said Anderson, a marital dissolution accountant in Philadelphia. The divorce accountant will examine public records, analyze both bank and investment account statements and review income tax returns for evidence of the missing assets or income.
One case in which Anderson served as a marital dissolution accountant providing litigation support services in Philadelphia involved a spouse who claimed her husband owned commercial real estate in Philadelphia. By analyzing the couple’s income tax returns and brokerage accounts, Anderson was able to identify a property tax deduction that was taken on the income tax return, as well as regular monthly payments made to a brokerage account. He said the payments did not come from either spouse’s employer or from any of the couple’s known bank accounts. Anderson, a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, discovered that the husband’s limited liability company owned a building in Philadelphia and that the checks being sent to the brokerage account were rent checks from the building’s tenant.
Forensic accounting experts also are called on to analyze the income and expenses of each spouse to assist the court in determining how much support and/or alimony one spouse must pay another. A divorce accountant also may be needed to analyze income earned by the spouses after the date of separation, or other transactions involving marital assets that the spouses engaged in after the date of separation.
“Unwinding a marriage often can be a mind-boggling process involving complex financial matters that are best left to a forensic accounting expert to evaluate,” said Anderson, whose company offers a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. “Putting the financial issues into the hands of a marital dissolution accountant can ease tensions in sometimes stressful situations and keep things moving toward an amicable resolution.”
If your divorce case would benefit from the expertise of a marital dissolution accountant in Philadelphia, or if you require any other services of a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About David Anderson & Associates
David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, fraud deterrence, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services. Company principal David Anderson is a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia with more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst. Anderson also has served as a divorce accountant or marital dissolution accountant in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.