Family law cases involving complex financial issues often require the assistance of a financial expert for the following issues:
- Preparing a financial disclosure, including creating a marital balance sheet
- Comparing balance sheets from period-to-period to evaluate changes in assets and liabilities
- Analyzing financial disclosures or affidavits prepared by the spouses
- Calculating the historical income of the spouses
- Determining income (or the ability to pay) in order to calculate support
- Determining the standard of living (or the need for support)
- Valuing business entities or other assets (such as real estate, pensions, and the like)
- Identifying assets and determining whether they are non-marital (separate) or subject to division (marital or community)
- Tracing and finding funds or other assets
- Analyzing claims of dissipation, wasteful spending, or fraudulent conveyance
- Evaluating the income tax impact of various scenarios
- Assessing the work of an opposing financial expert
- Other litigation assistance, such as assistance with drafting discovery demands and interrogatories or preparing for the depositions of individuals with financial information
In addition to these financial issues, an accounting expert could also play the following roles in family law cases:
- Assisting with settlement activities, evaluating the financial impact of a settlement offer, making certain calculations, and giving opinions on various settlement scenarios.
- Mediating a divorce case with financial issues to help the parties reach a settlement.
- Acting as a neutral expert in the divorce, providing an objective opinion on financial matters. The parties may agree together on the financial neutral, or the court may appoint the accountant.
- Participating in post-court activity, aiding in the evaluation of financial disputes, including things like allegations of fraud during the divorce process or motions for modification of support.