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hiding assets/secretion of assets

In divorce litigation—and especially in high-asset or high-net-worth divorces in which there is significant marital or community property—any financial manipulation or fraud of personal or business finances may have a significant effect on the marital or community property that is available for division, and on spousal support and child support payment amounts.

One or both spouses in a divorce may hire a forensic accountant to discover any hidden or secreted assets or manipulated financial documents that may prevent the court from having an accurate accounting of the marital or community property assets and the spouses’ incomes.

A forensic accountant is generally an accountant with expertise in detecting financial fraud or manipulation in personal and business tax returns, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, broker accounts, offshore accounts, cash, cryptocurrency, jewels, art, cars, yachts, airplanes, real estate, life insurance policies, and related financial documents.

This financial investigation work is often referred to as tracing, financial tracing, asset tracing, or forensic accounting, and generally involves “following the money” by tracing a piece of financial information or data back to its source.

In Texas, during divorce proceedings, particularly in cases involving high assets or significant wealth, the accurate assessment of marital or community property is crucial for equitable division, as well as for determining appropriate spousal and child support payments. Financial manipulation or fraud can significantly impact these determinations. To uncover any hidden assets or financial discrepancies, one or both spouses may employ a forensic accountant. These professionals specialize in identifying irregularities in various financial documents and assets, including tax returns, bank and investment accounts, retirement funds, and tangible assets like jewelry and real estate. The process, known as financial tracing or forensic accounting, involves meticulously tracking financial transactions back to their origins to ensure a fair and transparent accounting of assets and income for the court's consideration. Texas law, in line with community property principles, mandates a just and right division of marital assets, and the discovery of any concealed or manipulated financial information by a forensic accountant can be pivotal in achieving that legal standard.

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