CPA & FINANCIAL SERVICES
Facing a divorce is one of the most unsettling experiences a person can have because there is nothing like it in a person’s experience. Our goal is to provide a solid, trustworthy resource to help you navigate, with your attorney, these very unsettling times. People readily understand the need for an attorney in a divorce and for a Realtor if there is a marital home that needs to be sold or a lender if the home will be retained by one of the parties. However, many people do not understand the importance of a CPA or a financial advisor as clearly. While many divorces that are very simple, with little or no investments in property, securities or businesses, they may not require the services of a CPA or financial advisor.
MANY DIVORCES NEED A TEAM OF EXPERTS
TO ENSURE FAIRNESS
In addition to an experienced attorney, as a divorcing couple you need guidance and expertise from a CPA or Finance professional. Dividing up years of financial investments, savings plans, retirement accounts and other joint accounts can have a profound adverse impact on your financial future if not done properly. In addition, a substantial and unnecessary tax burden can be created if not done correctly.
Texas Family Law, within which the rules governing divorce are provided, requires that certain information be provided for at least the last 2 years:
deeds and liens on any property that they own and lease
property they rent,
statements for any retirement or pension plans, profit-sharing plans, and employee benefit plans
policies and statements for health, life, casualty, and liability insurance, and
statements for any bank accounts and accounts at brokerage firms, credit unions, and savings and loan institutions
In addition, there are financial disclosures that must be prepared if there is a reequest for child or spousal support, and this includes past 2 years of income tax or 1099's or W-2's to establish earnings.
Of course, this picture is to get your attention - if you already have a full-time career you need a team to do this properly.
FINANCES ARE TYPICALLY THE MOST CONTESTED
it should come as no great surprise that finances are typically one of the most highly contested areas in divorce given that finances and financial problems are one of the leading causes for the breakup in the first place. Strained finances lead to the collapse of intimacy (the #1 cause of divorce) and so on as the dominoes begin to fall. Add to the mix child support, spousal support and the environment is ripe for discord.
Though CPAs and financial advisors both offer consultancy services, financial advisors have niche knowledge specific to their area of specialization. Moreover, they provide only financial counselling, unlike CPAs, who also offer tax, auditing, and accounting services.
In certain cases, a forensic accountant may also be needed where a high level of due diligence is required to 'peel back' the years on marital investments or to track the money to ensure all funds are being properly identified.