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What is a forensic accountant and why do I need one?

For some people in Georgia, dividing the financial and tangible possessions from the marriage during a divorce may be fairly simple. If you have complex assets, though, the process of identifying them all in the discovery phase may be a challenge. Forbes suggests that locating and valuating marital assets may be best accomplished by hiring a forensic accountant, a person who has been trained in the identification and valuation of assets.

Before possessions such as real estate, antiques, artwork and other tangible assets can be divided equitably, you and your spouse have to know what they are worth. Even if you have had their value assessed recently, it may fluctuate over time and so need a new appraisal. The ability to identify property values and to understand the best valuation date to use are skills many forensic accountants offer.

Income determination is another potentially sticky task. There may not be a straightforward answer when it comes to which marital assets are generated from assets such as stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, insurance plans and other assets. Identifying income when you or your spouse is a partner or owner of a business may be even more complicated.

As confusing as property division may be when everything is open and aboveboard, assets that are hidden take the complexity to a new level. Forensic accountants are expert at discovering underreported income, fake debt and other unscrupulous methods of hiding holdings and resources. While this information may help you understand the benefits that a forensic accountant can provide, it is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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