Financial Advisor vs. Forensic Accountant: Which Do I Need for My Divorce?

One of the most difficult aspects of an Orange County divorce is dealing with the immediate financial impact of dividing your household as well as the long-term economic effects of the divorce. Whether you are going through an amicable, straightforward divorce or are dealing with a more complicated high net worth situation, your financial life will change dramatically. For this reason, many people work with financial advisors and/or forensic accountants to help them through the process.

Below, we review what financial advisors and forensic accounts do and how they can help with divorce. Keep reading to learn more.

What Do Certified Divorce Financial Analysts Do?

Financial advisors and analysts are trained to provide financial guidance to single people and couples, but they do not all have specific training in divorce matters. By contrast, certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs) specialize in financial planning and analysis for divorcing individuals. Not only can they help with the negotiation process during the divorce, helping couples achieve mutually beneficial property division and support settlements, but they can also help people plan for a more financially secure future post-divorce.

It is not uncommon for a divorcing individual and their lawyers to work with a CDFA during the divorce process. This is especially common when a couple goes through a collaborative law divorce or has a high net worth. The more complicated your financial situation, the more beneficial working with a CDFA during your divorce can be.

What Do Forensic Accountants Do?

Like CDFAs, forensic accountants can be invaluable during the divorce process, especially when dealing with spousal support and property division matters. They can also be helpful when determining child support matters. Furthermore, forensic accounts can be especially helpful in cases where one spouse has been accused of hiding or dissipating marital assets or when the couple's financial holdings are more complicated than average.

Forensic accountants are adept at analyzing bank statements, financial accounts, tax documents, and other financial documents. They are often called in to help uncover inconsistencies during the disclosure stage and to help ensure that all assets are accounted for, including investment accounts, properties, and more. Because of this, they can be very beneficial in complicated cases, even when dissipation or hidden assets are not a concern. For example, forensic accounts can be useful when it comes to valuing property or non-traditional assets. They can also help a couple determine what is separate and what is community property, even in cases where property and assets have been commingled.

Should I Hire a Forensic Accountant or CDFA for My Divorce?

You should speak with your lawyer first before you hire a forensic accountant or certified divorce financial analyst. Your lawyer is one of your greatest resources and can help you determine if the help of a professional accountant is appropriate for your situation and what kind. Furthermore, your attorney will likely have access to a range of resources, including financial professionals experienced specifically in assisting with divorce cases.

If you are going through a divorce or planning to divorce and think you might need the help of a financial advisor or forensic accountant, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group for guidance. We are prepared to discuss your case today.