Doug Betts, CFE, CPA, Inc.
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified Public Accountant
Family Law Services
Divorce, unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence. Often a highly sensitive and emotionally
charged process, it can be an extremely difficult time for couples. Because of the nature of a divorce,
it is not uncommon for one spouse or another to be taken advantage of by their partner by
hiding assets and/or income from the courts in attempt to fraudulently keep assets or lower
future spousal or child support payments.
When do you Need a Fraud Examination in a Divorce Case?
Just like a forensic medical examiner looks for clues to the cause of an individual's death and clues
that would identify criminals, a Certified Fraud Examiner performs an investigation to look for
evidence of hidden or undisclosed assets and income, and assists in determining the ownership
of marital assets. The goal of these investigations is to present a true picture of the family's
financial situation to the family court so that an equitable resolution can be achieved for all involved.
Often one spouse will own or control a closely-held business (the "owning spouse") of which the
opposing spouse has little or no involvement or knowledge. This situation is a perfect opportunity
for the owning spouse to use the business as a vehicle to hide income or assets from the courts.
If a valuation is to be done of the business as a part of the divorce, it may be necessary to
perform a forensic examination of the business prior to the valuation. A valuation performed with
misstated information is itself misstated. A fair picture of the business' value is necessary to
insure an equitable settlement.
Weigh the Costs and Benefits of a Fraud Examination
The emotions of divorcing couples often outweigh the potential value of what they are fighting
over. It is very important to initially determine what a divorcing spouse stands to gain by having
their spouse investigated and whether the potential gains in asset division and future support
outweigh the costs of the investigation. Generally, one should not have a fraud exam performed
Fraud Examination Services in Family Law
Fraud examination services can include any of the following:
Contact us today to determine if a fraud examination or computer forensics is appropriate for your
particular family law case.