EP 59: How to Find Hidden Assets with a Forensic Accountant

Episode 59 of the Divorce and Your Money Show discusses the role of a forensic accountant for finding hidden assets or income during your divorce.

The subject of hidden assets or hidden income is a complex issue. You need to be aware of all the tools you have at your disposal as you try to determine if your spouse might be hiding assets from you.

Forensic accountants are trained to find out if people are trying to hide assets. A forensic accountant will look at such financial documents or statements as tax returns, personal and business statements, credit card statements, expense receipts, and if you have a business, they will look at accounts receivable and accounts payable, regulatory filings, ownership interest, stock certificates, and other critical documents.

A forensic accountant can find those minute details and any shady transactions. If you are not involved in family finances, it might be especially important to hire a forensic accountant. Your spouse could have a separate account where they have been depositing money over the years. They could even have separate businesses set up in other states or even countries. In case your spouse has threatened you and indicated that you will never find any money, you have all the more reason to hire a forensic accountant.

Key Learning Points:

  • There are many ways your spouse could be hiding assets from you.
  • A forensic accountant will look at financial information and track it over the years to look for consistency and anything that looks out of place.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.