No one wants to spend any more money on a divorce than is absolutely necessary. Bringing in an accounting expert can be costly so there is a decision to make in every divorce as to whether such a person is needed.
If there are arguments as to the value of a family owned business, the amount of alimony which should be paid or assets that may be hidden by one of the spouses, then usually bringing in a forensic accountant makes economic sense. The benefit will usually outweigh the cost.
Keep in mind that typically an accountant charges a little bit less per hour than a lawyer and is more efficient at analyzing the standard of living of the spouses, finding hidden assets by investigating the known assets and placing a value on a business asset. In addition, a lawyer cannot testify to the lawyer’s findings in court, but an accountant can.
Accountants are also typically more knowledgeable on the tax aspects of things and can advise you as to the details of what the tax impact will be of every alimony or property division scenario.
Bottom line: While not needed in every case, it is often wise to bring in a forensic accountant to assist in the divorce process.