Good family lawyers resolve their client’s cases. That statement is true. We certainly make every effort to do so. There are, however, cases which will not settle. This occurs for a number of reasons, which for the purposes of this discussion, are not relevant. Just know that fighting the good fight is something we do in the appropriate case. What does “fighting the good fight” entail?
Thorough Discovery: Discovery is a tool we use to uncover and discover information about the other party and their finances. Many times the information is straightforward and clear. We request the information which, in your particular case and based on your facts, is relevant and necessary in arriving at a clear financial picture. We use Interrogatories, which are written questions we write and send to the other party to gain necessary information on a host of issues. At the same time, generally, we forward a comprehensive Request for Production of Documents, requesting several years of financial and other documents to create a clear picture of your marital life. We examine the account statements and documents along with you, to see if there are transfers of money out of or into accounts, or other improprieties. If there is suspicious activity in the other party’s accounts, we can hire Forensic Accountants to trace money and assist us in analyzing the finances.
Financial Experts: In appropriate cases, and only with your approval, we engage forensic accountants to analyze records and trace assets. In the appropriate case, this can be extremely valuable. In some of our cases, right from the beginning, our client will either have proof or suspicion that money is being hidden or not accounted for. Through the use of seasoned professionals, we have uncovered substantial money for our clients, that was previously hidden or unknown.
Cash assets: Cash is an age-old problem. Cash can be discovered by analyzing a person’s expenses versus their reported income to illustrate that not all income is being reported. There are businesses which are traditionally cash heavy. It can be a challenge to accurately prove a person’s cash assets.
Business valuators: If a party to a divorce owns a business, in most cases, it will be necessary to engage a properly trained business valuator to value the business for asset division purposes. With a smaller business involved, the cost of valuation can be rather low in comparison to a large and more complex business. Our firm has relationships with a number of business valuation firms, and we choose which firm to use when we know more about the business involved. Matching the business to the proper valuator is critical.
Real Estate Appraisers: In most cases, both residential and commercial real estate owned by a family will need to be appraised. Again, through our decades of experience, we have developed relationships with many appraisers. We will suggest to you the professional we recommend in your case, which will be closely aligned with the real estate you own and it’s location.
Specialty Issues: Your case may have other needs. Assets such as carried interest, valuable collections, including coins, artwork, wine, amongst many other pieces of property, will need to be investigated and valued.
Sometimes matters cannot be resolved. Be sure the law firm you hire has a strong track record in litigating matters, particularly in the county where you live.