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Not sure how much your assets are worth? Can you still divorce?

Depending on the couple, locating and collecting all of the necessary financial documents can be a relatively simple and straightforward process. Having all of this information readily available during the property division process can help it move as smoothly and efficiently as possible, while inaccurate or patchy documentation can have the opposite effect and lead to a less than desirable divorce settlement. Oregon couples who have various investments, portfolios or simply a high number of assets sometimes require a helping hand when it comes time to gather this type of information.

Property division relies on the most accurate account of all assets and their respective values. When certain assets are sheltered in a trust, portfolio or even a business, pegging down the exact values can be more than just overwhelming -- it can seem impossible. Before addressing who gets what during mediation, an increasing number of couples are choosing to bring in forensic accountants to help determine just how much certain assets are worth or to find out if one party is hiding assets.

Forensic accountants are especially helpful when one party's income is in question. Private business owners have an advantage when it comes to concealing income, and it is not all that difficult to report a lower income while simultaneously concealing assets in a dummy company or by keeping certain earnings off the books. Tracking down all of these acts of deceit is difficult and time consuming, especially for those who might not be sure where to look in the first place. This is an area in which a forensic accountant excels.

Mediation with the careful guidance of counsel is typically an effective process to avoid heading to court. Unfortunately, there is virtually no way to ensure an equitable distribution of assets when no one is entirely certain just how much those assets are actually worth. When one party's income is in question or when the value of an asset is uncertain, addressing these questions before heading to mediation can help Oregon couples going through divorce.

Source: Forbes, "When The Wealthy Divorce, They Regularly Engage Forensic Accountants", Russ Alan Prince, Sept. 22, 2015

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