family law

How Not to Get Taken for a Ride in your Divorce

Although there is an obligation to disclose assets under Family Law there are, sadly, too often cases where compliance with disclosure is treated as a game and often with some contempt. A thorough review will pose questions and lawyers are often assisted by forensic accountants by creating a team to locate hidden, “forgotten” or unexplained assets. It’s the training and experience in reading financial statements combined with an enquiring mind that makes this partnership work.

It takes time to plan an assessment and typically the forensic accountant will ask for a long list of documents. It is the close study of these is what leads to inconsistencies, unexplained transactions and the possibility of fraud.

Some signs of inappropriate Behaviour or deceit, could include all or any of the following:

  • Unexplained but noticeable changes in sales in more recent years as compared to past years.
  • Non-disclosure of assets acquired or disposed of post separation or post last report.
  • Unexplained movements in loan accounts.
  • Advanced made to unknown parties.
  • Poor quality valuation reports that miss work in progress or poorly valued stock.
  • Assets that retain value despite write offs or accelerated write offs.
  • Cash payments not recorded.
  • Unexplained write offs.
  • Options not yet allocated to Directors or executives can have a large potential value..

Why else you might need to engage with us?

  • To explain corporate structure and transactions. Often with Family Trusts the non-controlling partner just gets to sign documents without full understanding of what it all means.
  • When the lawyer suspects the other party is not being truthful, significant savings in time and money and a changed asset pool can result by engaging early.
  • When financial affairs just don’t make sense.
  • To provide some detailed and probing questions that might not otherwise be asked by a person without the experience in looking at financial documents.