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Time Serving – 28 August 2013

Member: Nifa

Simon Cowell’s pregnant lover, Lauren Silverman, has just been granted a ‘quickie’ divorce in the States from her husband of 10 years and it is alleged that she waited until their tenth wedding anniversary before telling him that she wanted to split, in the hopes of a larger financial settlement from their prenuptial agreement.  As it turned out, it is likely that Mrs Silverman will ‘only’ get around $2m, half of the $4m she had thought likely, but there will also undoubtedly be generous provision for the couple’s seven-year-old son.


Of course, in this case, neither man is short of money. Mr Silverman is an extremely wealthy property tycoon, while Mr Cowell is a media mogul, but even in the less rarefied atmosphere outside the mega-rich, divorcing couples need all the help they can get in talks around money. Whenever there are children in the equation, it is vital that adequate provision is made for them and this is even more important when the wealthier partner might try to obscure his or her assets in a bid to pay out less than is required, which is when the less wealthy partner should consider engaging a forensic accountant.


A forensic accountant investigates the details of financial issues that can then be used in settlement negotiations or in court. For family cases, this often involves valuing business assets, calculating capital gains liabilities or how much income a business generates. In the case of the Silvermans, it is thought that both parties reached an agreement, as Mrs Silverman appears keen to get divorced before she gives birth, but in many cases, it is much harder to do so, as one party often does not believe what the other party puts forward as their financial position.


With a forensic accountant on the case, there will be less no room for doubt, as he or she may have been instructed to track down any assets, hidden or otherwise, and make a market valuation of any businesses involved in the settlement, thereby helping to ensure that any settlement will be fair, if not necessarily headline news. 


Source: New York Post, Daily Mail
Author: Roger Isaacs, 28 August 2013

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