Did your spouse always handle the money? Do you own a family business? Are there investments, but you don’t know exactly what they are? What you don’t know about your assets could impact your divorce settlement.
It is not uncommon for a high-earning spouse to hide assets when preparing for a divorce. These assets may include:
- Traveler’s checks
- EE Savings bonds
- Bearer municipal bonds
- Mutual funds
- Variable annuities
- Insurance policies
It is also not uncommon for a spouse to convert cash into personal property by buying art, jewelry, boats, vehicles or antiques. How do you find out about these hidden assets?
The divorce attorneys at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel encourage all our high net worth clients to work with an experienced forensic accountant during the divorce process. The forensic C.P.A. will start by looking at your family’s tax returns for information about the family business, income, investments and real estates. If there are any sudden changes in income or discrepancies between the tax returns and your spouse’s report of assets, he will investigate further. He may evaluate the business to determine its true value or look for recent transfers of property. Money could be hidden in gifts to employees, family members and even children. Your forensic accountant will observe checking accounts, savings accounts credit cards, and money market for unusual activity.
A forensic accountant can be a valuable part of your divorce team. For help putting together the best possible divorce team, contact Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC at (215) 523-6900.