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My husband has always kept all the financed to himself and I hardly have any access to it. Now that we are trying to mediate

San Francisco, CA |

I wonder if I should have a neutral forensic accountant or a individual forensic accountant.
I seem to be in limbo at this moment since he is not telling the truth about his actual
salary. This would impact my alimony greatly.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. A very wise person once told me that if you have to ask someone else's opinion of whether you are doing the right thing, the answer is that you feel you are not. Obviously, if you are asking someone else whether or not you should trust your husband, then obviously, you don't.

    The problem with your situation may not be the accountant, but whether or not the accoutant will get the accurate information from your husband. I would presume that either accountant will tally up the numbers that he or she gets, and come up with a number. As another old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. If the numbers from your husband are wrong, so will be the result.

    I know that I am waxing poetic and probably not providing you the insight you desire, but if you are not trusting your husband, the mediation process may not work, so why not spend the extra money up from for you own accountant, so that in the event you have to litigate, you already have an expert with at least the basic knowledge to testify for you.


  2. Do you have a lawyer? I would suggest that you hire one as to how to proceed. You're in the Bay Area and you're fortunate that there are several excellent lawyers to choose from. No lawyer on Avvo can advise you as to how to proceed in a intelligent manner.

    Ms. Johns can be reached at (866) 402-4038. Ms. Johns is a lawyer although she is not your lawyer unless and until you have consulted with her and signed a fee or letter agreement confirming her representation of you. This email does not otherwise constitute legal advice or create an attorney client relationship. Ms. Johns and her employees are not tax lawyers or financial advisors and do not give tax or financial advice of any kind. If you wish such services, please consult with the appropriate professional in that field.


  3. You should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to advise and represent you, and perform such discovery, investigation and other fact-finding (including Subpoenas) to get the information and documents needed to get the true picture and deal with it. The mediator and a forensic account can't compel your husband to disclose what he is concealing. Mediation only works when the parties candidly disclose and are fair with one-another.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  4. The first thing you need to do is obtain all of the documentation either by negotiation or discovery. If you don't trust your husband, then I suggest you use formal discovery although that process is more time consuming and expensive.

    When you have all of the necessary documentation, then you can determine whether to use a nuetral or an individual forensic.

    The above is general information only. It should not be considered as legal advice applicable to your specific circumstance. Reliable legal advice applicable to your situation cannot be given without a consultation. The above response does not create an attorney client relationship nor should it be considered as a privileged attorney client communication.

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