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Forensic accountants increasingly used during divorce

Wealthy individuals in Illinois and other states often use forensic accountants during the divorce process. These types of accountants are often utilized to address business-related concerns, particularly if one's spouse and business partner may be involved in questionable practices. The trend of depending on a forensic accountant during a divorce proceeding is expected to accelerate for several reasons.

First, it is not possible to split marital assets if both parties do not know exactly what these assets are or what they are worth. Couples with high net worth usually have a wide variety of assets to divide, including partnerships, collectables, businesses and portfolios. A forensic accountant can help accurately determine each of these assets' value.

Sometimes assets are held in a trust, or they are located in various jurisdictions; in both situations, obtaining a valuation can be challenging. The valuation of life insurance policies, deferred compensation arrangements and retirement plans also require the knowledge of qualified forensic accountants. Accountants are especially helpful if a spouse is trying to hide marital assets or if it seems impossible to determine a spouse's actual income.

Once the values of people's assets in Illinois have been determined, proper legal guidance may help these individuals tackle asset distribution and property division in a way that protects their best interests. An applied understanding of the law may help people get their fair share of assets through divorce negotiation or, if necessary, through courtroom litigation. Both divorcing individuals have the right to strive for a personally beneficial settlement while also taking each other's wishes into consideration.

Source: Forbes, "When The Wealthy Divorce They Regularly Engage Forensic Accountants", Russ Alan Prince, Sept. 22, 2015

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