Divorce Financial Planning is NOT Forensic Accounting

While there is sometimes overlap between the skillset and work product of divorce financial planners and forensic accountants, divorce financial planning is NOTforensic accounting. 

Divorce financial planning is a forward-looking process that focuses on lifestyle issues relevant to divorce or separation, issues such as the respective post-separation needs and paying abilities of the parties or the financial workability of potential outcomes. 

In contrast, forensic accounting is a more backward-looking process that focuses on finding, characterizing and valuing assets and income.  While the divorce financial planner is a generalist with a broad background in personal financial issues, the education and experience of the forensic accountant is generally more focused on a more limited set of divorce-related issues such as business valuation, fraud or the discovery of hidden assets. 

The forensic accountant is often used as an outside expert in the divorce process, with a limited and specific assignment.  While the divorce financial planner is sometimes used in this fashion, he/she is increasingly becoming more directly involved as an intimate member of a divorce team. 

Whatever their respective roles or services provided, divorce financial planners and forensic accountants can both play important roles in the divorce process.