They can, but they should not because, typically, accountants that represent businesses and create their financial statements and file their tax returns are not forensic accountants, who are skilled and trained in the field of valuing a business for the purpose of divorce. In a case where someone insists that they want to use an accountant that they already have, typically what happens is, it creates more litigation costs and it takes more time. The accountant will generate a value that is not created in a manner consistent with the fair value standard that we utilize for the purpose of divorce.
In those cases where that happens, it’s often the case that half way through the divorce process, they have to hire a forensic expert anyway, because the numbers that are generated by their own certified public accountants are really not those that can be used in family courts in New Jersey.
Sonya K. Zeigler is a partner at Stolfe Zeigler, a boutique family law firm that obtains favorable outcomes for high-net-worth, complex, and litigious cases.