How to Find Money Your Spouse is Hiding
Latrice Knighton is a member of the Sterling Law Offices partner team and an award-winning divorce attorney, life coach, and speaker. She helps clients resolve their problems by using legal techniques and smart tactics learned through decades of experience. She is able to help clients by offering the best practical advice.
You never want to be taken advantage of – particularly by your spouse.
This rule applies whether you are going through a divorce or not.
If you are going through a divorce and suspect that your spouse is hiding money from you, you have to begin the work of proving it. It is not as easy as you may think. Courts follow rules of evidence and you must follow those rules. However, your attorney along with a forensic accountant can help you.
I interview Tracy Coenen of Sequence Inc. (SequenceInc.com) so you know how a forensic accountant can help your attorney in a divorce find hidden money or waste.
Tracy, you are a forensic accountant and fraud investigator with Sequence Inc. How do you help clients in divorce cases?
I help break down financial topics in an easy way for clients and attorneys. I can help attorneys compare balance sheets, analyze financial documents, calculate historical income, determine ability to pay support, determine a standard of living, trace and find funds, analyze claims of wasting money….and much more.
Sometimes people want to save money on fees, but I know you end up saving clients a lot of money in the long run. How do forensic accountants like yourself save clients money?
I am experienced in financial investigations which means I can get the work done much quicker and more efficiently than an attorney. My work is focused on finding red flags and issues. My findings are objective. Courts tend to find me to be a credible witness if you need me to testify for you about financial matters.
I know that you have written a book (because I have a copy) entitled “Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases.” In Chapter 4, you talk about Red Flags of Fraud in Divorce Cases. What are some of the red flags clients should be on the look out for if they are worried about hiding of money?
Your spouse likes to exert excessive control on all of the financial matters so you don't have access to information or statements. They make large purchases without talking to you about it. They have always been secretive about money or have lied to you in the past about it. Or they use a post office box or other private address to get mail so you don't see any bills or statements.
Clients are concerned about maintaining their standard of living. Yet, it can be hard for attorneys to show it. Are you able to determine a standard of living? How?
Yes, I can help determine a standard of living. You have to look at more than historical figures in the past. The five most important factors I include are: earned and unearned income; funding sources for the lifestyle; actual historical expenditures; existence of unusual. nonreoccurring expenses; and reasonable needs in the future.
Tracy, prior to taking on a case you want to spend some time talking with the attorney to discover what the issues are, correct?
Yes, I like to talk with the attorney to determine the scope of the work and what documents have already been collected.
Great. How can attorneys contact you?
310 East Buffalo Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Sequence Inc. Website