Do you have a hearing date? Considerations for lawyers currently handling divorce proceedings

We are often asked:

“At what point in the divorce process should we engage the services of a forensic accountant?”

The simplest answer is, “right from the very start”. 

Although it may take a while for both parties to gather the financial data to be reviewed, it is always beneficial to engage us at the start so that we can commence the procedural process i.e. proposal, letter of instruction, and terms of engagement.  

This early engagement will ensure we are ready to act as soon as you have the financial data available, allowing us ample time to conduct an in-depth investigation producing a thoroughly researched report. 

The other factor to consider:

Will you need us to testify in court?

Vero Consultants founder, Charles Lazarevic, has appeared in court and arbitrations as an expert witness in many cases and is a member of Resolution. He leads a team that can provide convincing expert testimony to the standards required by family courts.

To find out more about the forensic accounting services we offer, click here and we would be happy to have a commitment-free discussion about your issue. 

Can you spot financial anomalies in a plethora of divorce discoveries?

Parties can go to extraordinary lengths to hide assets and their true financial standing during a divorce. 

When you are presented with hundreds or even thousands of pages of financial data from an opposing party, you may need someone who can spot inconsistencies on balance sheets and follow the financial trail to uncover hidden assets. 

As experienced forensic accountants, Vero Consulting can help you uncover: 

  • offshore accounts used to hide money from HMRC and an ex-spouse. 
  • non-cash-based assets that haven’t been declared and may be converted into cash once the divorce is finalised, i.e., bonds / shares / debts due / ISAs.
  • business owners using their company to hide personal wealth. 
  • business owners reporting lower revenues or debts to understate their true income. 
  • one party parking money with a trusted friend to retrieve once the divorce is settled. 

In the highly charged emotional process of a divorce, there can be huge settlements at stake, which cloud the negotiations. 

Engaging a forensic accountant provides clarity over the financial aspect of the divorce and can expedite the negotiation process, alleviating the pressure on your legal resources. 

Vero Consultants can undertake forensic accounting services in either a party-appointed or single joint expert (SJE) capacity. We have particular expertise in dealing with ultra-high net-worth international families and our consultants can work in a range of European languages. 

To learn more about the forensic accounting services we offer, click here and we would be happy to have a commitment-free discussion about your issue. 

What came first? The prospect of divorce, or the decline in the performance of a business asset?

We’ve seen it play out many times before… when it comes time to evaluate a business and determine the division of assets, somehow, a once thriving business suddenly appears to be barely profitable.  

If something doesn’t add up, that’s where our years of experience can provide clarity. 

As forensic accountants, we can determine:

  • If the perceived decline in business performance is genuine, or has been created. 
  • When the business started to decline.
  • If the decline correlates with the timeline of impending divorce filings. 
  • If there are assets that are not being accurately reported. 
  • The ability of a business to provide liquidity for financial settlement. 

We do this by analysis of:

Financial documents (full accounts for several years are preferred).

  • Bank statements.
  • Business records.
  • Personal tax records.

Not all occasions where a business suddenly underperforms will lead to proof that the situation has been fabricated, with the intent of financial gain. 

However, if this is suspected by one of the parties, a forensic accounting investigation can help put this suspicion to rest and provide peace of mind moving forward in negotiations. 

To find out more about the forensic accounting services we offer, click here and we would be happy to have a commitment-free discussion about your issue. 

Solicitors & barristers, are you currently handling a divorce with complex financial implications?

If you are weighing up the benefits of engaging a forensic accountant, consider if these factors are at play. 

While some divorce settlements have clear assets eligible for division, it is the cases where there has been cunning bookwork done by one (or both) of the parties, those negotiations can stall. 

As experienced forensic accountants, we can provide the transparency required to move the divorce proceedings forward and ensure a fairer settlement for all. 

Vero Consulting can assist with: 

  • producing clear and authoritative reports that are rarely challenged.
  • presenting the recent history of both parties’ income and expenditure.
  • determining the wealth created during marriage by clarifying pre and post-marriage assets. 
  • identifying financial anomalies, indicating attempts to conceal assets. 
  • tracing assets to establish a party’s source of wealth.
  • assessing support requirements for children born outside of the marriage. 
  • evaluating private business and share values. 
  • establishing the liquidity of businesses for the purpose of financial settlement. 
  • advising on the tax and financial implications of transferring or settling property, shares or other assets. 
  • defining financial disclosure for the purpose of pre and post-nuptial agreements. 
  • understanding the standard of living expectations to determine spousal support
  • attending mediations, negotiations and other processes required. 

With background knowledge in many business sectors, including property, trading, and investment banking in the UK and overseas, our Vero consultants are also equipped to testify in court if required.

 To find out more about the forensic accounting services we offer, please visit our website.

The law on division of assets following no-fault divorces

Financial settlement on divorce

There is no rule or law that says money and assets should be divided equally on divorce but it is often the starting point for many couples. Even with the introduction of no-fault divorce from 6 April 2022 the courts will continue to look at the factors set out section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, legislation that was introduced almost half a century ago! But how will the change of emphasis away from blame change the way the courts decide financial settlements in contested cases? 

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