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Why Matrimonial Disputes Need Forensic Accountants

Dealing with divorce disputes and matrimonial disputes can be difficult, but it is essential to ensure that all assets and income are distributed fairly and openly. A forensic accountant will do just that, and leave no stone unturned in their investigation.

Forensic accountants will assess a couple’s shared investments and assets to gain a clear understanding of the total value of their wealth. If necessary, they also have the expertise required to trace and identify any hidden assets or undisclosed income. While this may seem extreme, it is not uncommon for one party to attempt to hide assets if they have property or money that they do not want to be discovered. 

In particularly contentious matrimonial disputes or divorce proceedings, one of the parties may be unwilling to fully comply with the process. Anything that is missing from the final valuation cannot be distributed, so it is essential that all assets are properly identified before anything is divided. 

The valuation of assets and other property or business interests can be incredibly complicated. This is especially true in the corporate world, where items can often be hidden internationally. Other examples of how money can be hidden include giving money to friends or family to keep hold of until the proceedings are finished with. 

Failing to utilise a forensic accountant could mean that one side of the dispute loses out on the total sum that they are entitled to. If this happens, they also run the risk of needing to re-open legal proceedings to recoup any assets that may have been hidden from them previously — something that can be extremely costly and time-consuming, and still does not guarantee that they will receive all the money owed.

Hiring a Forensic Accountant for Divorce

When it comes to divorce disputes and matrimonial disputes, a forensic accountant can either act on behalf of a singular party or as a Single Joint Expert (SJE) to represent both sides. This is commonly used in more amicable proceedings and goes a long way to ensure a smooth, cost-effective process. 

Forensic accountants can be instructed by the legal teams of the parties involved to carry out an in-depth investigation. However, as an expert, their ultimate responsibility lies with the Court and they have to demonstrate independence at all times. 

It is also possible for a forensic accountant to carry out these duties before official separation proceedings have even begun. This is to potentially pave the way for a smoother process further down the line.

The Role of a Forensic Accountant in Divorce

A forensic accountant has several key responsibilities when dealing with divorce disputes and matrimonial disputes. These include:

  • Providing basic valuations of matrimonial assets
  • Informing parties about the tax implications associated with the disposal of said assets
  • Tracing and identifying assets, providing a full disclosure at the conclusion of their investigation
  • Maintaining transparency throughout to ensure both parties receive what they deserve
  • Appearing as an expert witness in Court wherever necessary
  • Ensuring smooth proceedings throughout

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What Does a Forensic Accountant Do in Divorce?

Forensic accountants can be appointed at any stage of divorce or separation proceedings, and are often capable of having a transformative effect on the entire process. From asset valuation and tracing, to acting as an expert witness in Court, there are many ways in which forensic accounting can assist.

Free eBook: The Complete Guide to Forensic Accounting

Whether you’re in the middle of a divorce, are having a disagreement with a fellow shareholder, you’re accused of/have been victim to financial crime, or are the subject of a POCA order, there is a huge variety of ways a forensic accountant can assist and support you through any situation, no matter how complicated. 

Whatever your situation, our free guide to forensic accounting is designed to help you to better understand the work done by our team of experts. We cover how the process works, when a forensic accountant’s skill set can help you, their specific areas of expertise, and much more.

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How Inquesta Can Assist with Matrimonial Dispute Cases & Divorce Conflict Resolution

The financial issues associated with matrimonial disputes and divorce disputes can often be extremely complex and will require the services of an experienced financial expert. This is where Inquesta can assist.

Our specialist team are adept at tracing assets and, working alongside a team of private investigators and computer forensic experts, are able to identify whether anything has been hidden or if any income has not been disclosed. We are also able to help if there is a dispute regarding the value of a spouse’s share of a business. 

The specialists at Inquesta are regularly instructed, often as a Single Joint Expert, to assist both parties come to a fair settlement. We leave no stone unturned during the course of our investigations, and are committed to achieving the best possible results for our clients. 

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Our Specialist Team

Meet the dedicated team at Inquesta who are trained to keep divorce proceedings as smooth and stress-free as possible. No matter what the issue, Inquesta guarantees results.


Rob Miller

Director of Forensic Accounting

A co-founder of Inquesta, Rob Miller is a chartered accountant, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and a Practising Member of The Academy of Experts.

With decades of experience in providing specialist forensic accounting services, Rob has been instructed to assist with numerous cases — such as financial investigations, criminal defence and confiscation proceedings, commercial and contractual disputes, valuation matters, and much more besides. He has acted on behalf of claimants, defendants, and as a single joint expert.



It is always preferred for both parties in a divorce to amicably reach an agreement on a fair split of assets. However, this isn’t always possible. 

The division of assets is a particularly sticky point for most couples undergoing divorce. Tensions are high and both sides may feel that they deserve more. 

A forensic accountant can use their expertise to manage proceedings in an efficient and transparent fashion.

When it comes to finding hidden assets, it is common for forensic accountants to investigate down three key routes:

  • Net Worth: After accessing information and statistics from financial documents and the bank itself, a forensic accountant can get a clear picture of whether an individual may or may not be hiding any assets. They will do this by assessing the net worth of one party at the beginning of the divorce proceedings, and contrast it at the end. 
  • Deposits: This step entails taking net deposits by one party and adding it to any cash expenditure to formulate a total amount. Transactions from known and declared sources are then deducted in order to calculate an amount deposited with an unknown source — which will then be pursued. 
  • The final method involves understanding the parties’ funds. Taking evidence from various sources, such as bank statements, and deducting it from available funds, the accountant will be able to ascertain whether any undisclosed funds have been spent.

Also in Forensic Accounting

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Financial Crime

Financial Loss & Business Interruption

Forensic Insolvency

Forensic Technology

Financial Investigations

Personal Injury

Proceeds of Crime Act

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