Divorce is complicated. For high income and high net worth couples, a marital separation can be especially challenging. It is crucial that you are able to get your finances in order. If you own complex assets and/or you believe your spouse may be hiding property, a forensic accounting investigation can help to protect your rights. In this article, our Mankato divorce attorneys explain the role of forensic accounting in a high net worth divorce case.
An Overview of Forensic Accounting and Divorce
As defined by the Forensic CPA Society (FCPAS), forensic accounting is a “specialty practice area of accounting” that is used for “actual or anticipated disputes or litigation”. In effect, a forensic accountant is an investigative accountant who has the specialized skills, knowledge, and experience to provide expert testimony in court, including in a divorce case. Forensic accountants may be employed to help with a wide range of different financial matters. A forensic accounting professional can be especially useful in a high net worth divorce case if:
- The divorcing couple owns highly complex property or assets;
- There are questions about the market value of certain complex property;
- You need help determining your personal expenses; or
- You believe that your spouse is improperly hiding assets.
Three Things High Net Worth Couples Should Know About Property Division
For high asset couples, dividing property and assets in a divorce can be especially complicated. You need to know the rules and regulations that govern your case. Here are three important things that you should know about the law in Minnesota:
- Minnesota is an Equitable Distribution State: In a divorce in Minnesota, property will be divided in an equitable (fair) manner. While it can be a 50-50 split, that is not required by the law.
- Separate Property Remains Separate: The equitable distribution standard only applies to marital property. Each spouse is entitled to retain their full and undivided personal stake in their separate property.
- Financial Disclosures are Required: Minnesota requires divorcing couples to make certain financial disclosures to each other. It is unlawful to intentionally conceal assets from your spouse.
Ultimately, a forensic accountant can help in two key ways in a high net worth divorce case. First, they can help you get your financial records in order, so that you understand the value of your personal and marital property. Second, they can help review your collective financial records to ensure that your spouse is not improperly hiding assets.
Contact Our Mankato, MN Divorce Lawyers for Today Guidance and Support
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota family lawyers have the specialized professional skills and expertise to represent clients in complex high net worth divorce cases. If you have specific concerns about high income divorce and forensic accounting, we can help. Give us a call today or contact us online for a completely confidential initial legal consultation. With an office in Mankato and an office in Rochester, we handle high asset divorce cases throughout the area.