Once you remove your emotions from the equation, you will find that, at its core, divorce is about dividing assets and debts so that you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can get ready to move forward with your lives. While some divorcing couples find the process of dividing assets substantially easier than others, those who have especially complex financial portfolios or situations sometimes enlist the help of forensic accountants.

Just what does a forensic accountant do, and how can this type of accounting professional potentially help you as you navigate the process of asset division?

How forensic accountants can help

People going through a divorce may want to consider hiring forensic accountants to help them for a number of different reasons. Often, one party making his or her way through a divorce wants to hire a forensic accountant to help because he or she thinks his or her ex might be shielding assets or lying about income. A forensic accountant typically has the training and wherewithal needed to identify missing income streams or determine your former partner’s true wealth. This professional may, too, be able to find “hidden” sources of income or assets, such as offshore bank accounts.

Even if you do not suspect that your former partner is attempting to hide assets from you, you can still likely benefit from having a forensic accountant on your divorce team. If you or your ex, for example, have assets of unknown value, such as jewelry, fine art, classic cars and the like, your forensic accountant will typically be able to help you determine the value of these assets. He or she may also be able to help you divide complicated stock or real estate holdings, among other assets.

If one of your priorities includes making sure you get everything you deserve when you split from your spouse, you may find that hiring a forensic accountant helps you do so.