The parties worked with us in a lawyer-supported mediation, which the parties attended on their own. It was early in the parties’ separation. It was clear that there existed certain financial facts that would stand in the way of our work without some forensic input. The practical alternative was litigation.
Specifically, the husband ran and owned a business consulting practice for many years, and he had become involved in a relationship outside of marriage. His wife alleged that during that relationship, he had accessed both practice revenues and marital credit, to finance this relationship in a substantial manner. The husband did not dispute the relationship or the use of business/marital resources to pursue it, but he denied that the activities had resulted in any significant depletion of the marital estate.
We suggested that the parties consider the use of a joint forensic CPA for the purpose of evaluation the wife’s claims and to provide a written report that he would submit to the mediator, with her quantification of funds used/credit obtained in the husband’s pursuit of the relationship. The parties agreed and we moved on the vet the process with their lawyers. We provided a list of forensics experts for them to consider; and worked out a comprehensive agreement about the CPA’s scope of work, required financial disclosures, the format of the forensic work product and its presentation to the parties and the mediator.
The parties proceeded as described above. As the CPA completed her work, the parties met in sessions with LDRC to address other important topics and issues. Then she provided her report, offering to meet in a session to answer any questions. The parties met with her (electing to do so together but outside of mediation); then agreeing to a slightly different sum after some clarification with the CPA.
The parties then proceeded to mediate the remainder of their divorce, with an adjusting entry on their division of assets in the wife’s favor.
NOTE: THIS CASE STUDY IS BASED ON A COMPOSITE OF ACTUAL LDRC CASES BUT THE FACTS HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO ASSURE THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF OUR CLIENTS.