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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Family > The Role Of Forensic Accountants In A Collaborative Divorce

The Role Of Forensic Accountants In A Collaborative Divorce


In divorce, issues related to the valuation of assets can cause significant problems for the spouses and be the source of contention. In a litigated divorce, each side hires its own forensic accountant and they provide dueling reports that are analyzed by the court to make key decisions. In a collaborative divorce, the parties agree to hire one forensic accountant who acts as a neutral third party to valuate key assets and the marital estate. In this article, the Tampa family lawyers at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC will discuss the role of forensic accountants in collaborative (and litigated) divorces.

Third-party financial professionals or forensic accountants 

One of the main benefits of using one financial specialist to analyze the financial issues in a divorce case is that it simply costs less to hire one specialist rather than having each side present their own financial specialist. The forensic accountant analyzes key issues of the marital estate including assets, debts, income, and expenses.

The neutral forensic accountant will look into key issues like the income and expenses of a business, each party’s expenses and financial needs, the value of assets, and more. In a litigated divorce, there are usually significant valuation issues related to key assets like a business. Each side hires their own financial expert to valuate the business. This can be true in a collaborative case as well, but that’s not necessarily the case. The role of the financial expert is to provide expert valuation of assets like a business that may be owned by one or both spouses.

In a collaborative divorce, both parties can meet with the forensic accountant to understand how the valuation is going to be executed and the assumptions and approach used in determining the value of a key asset. The hope is that both parties are confident in the result once the valuation has been performed.

There may be some circumstances in which you want to hire your own business valuation expert to “check the work” of the financial neutral third party. This can be addressed as part of the collaborative process and is not an indication that the collaborative process is breaking down.

In a litigated divorce, if there is disagreement regarding financial issues then you proceed to dispute those issues before the court. Each side pays for the expense of their own expert financial expert and the court renders a final decision on the matter. Because the matter is passing through the courts, it is a matter of public record. High-net-worth couples tend to avoid litigation for this reason. But mediation isn’t always appropriate to the issues that they have. In these cases, collaborative divorce represents an exceptional third option that keeps your finances private while addressing your issues in a non-adversarial manner.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Today 

Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of Tampa couples in collaborative divorces. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing the collaborative process right away.

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