Matrimonial Disputes

Forensic accountants are commonly appointed in matrimonial disputes either by one party (as a party-appointed advisor or expert witness) or by both parties as single joint expert (SJE).

We can act for either the application or respondent or both parties in divorce and other matrimonial proceedings.

As well as the traditional court approach to reaching a financial divorce settlement, we can work with parties who have chosen to adopt the collaborative approach to managing their divorce.

We have undertaken work to assist one or both parties during the divorce process as well as after the financial divorce settlement has been reached in circumstances where one or both parties have not acted in accordance with the terms of a financial order or are seeking amendments to a financial order.

Our instructions will depend on the specifics of the dispute but typically we are asked give an opinion on the value of assets owned (e.g. business interests), the tax payable on sale or transfer of a business and the level of income that may be received from a business in the future.

We can advise on the financial aspects of matrimonial disputes and can assist with the following:

  • Form E compilation and/or review
  • Divorce business valuation
  • Assessment of the liquidity of business assets
  • Assessment of historic and future sustainable income
  • Advice on the tax implications of asset splitting
  • Asset tracing and other fact-finding exercises
  • Quantification of losses in connection with enforcement of financial orders
  • Duxbury calculations.

PLEASE NOTE: While the precise role of the expert may vary (whether SJE or party-appointed), the expert’s overriding duty is to the Court. As an expert, a forensic accountant must demonstrate independence. Where engaged as an adviser, a forensic accountant has more scope to provide hints and tips. However, an accountant who has acted as an adviser may not be able to accept subsequent instructions as an expert.

After the forensic accountant has produced their report it will not be possible to raise questions on new matters within the same instruction, so it is vital to clarify the exact scope of the forensic accountant’s instructions at the outset. In a joint engagement this is undertaken by means of a joint letter of instruction, a document that is itself regulated in its content.

Why choose Harwood Hutton?

  • We appreciate the sensitive nature of divorce and other matrimonial disputes and can work in accordance with the requirements of the Family Procedure Rules and preparing expert reports and similar output for use in court proceedings
  • We provide the parties with clarity over the financial aspects of their divorce, helping the parties reach a divorce settlement more quickly and efficiently
  • Thanks to our accountancy credentials, we have a broad range of practical experience across a number of industries and business types
  • We offer a free, no-obligation initial call or meeting.