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Incomplete Opinions In A Divorce Mediation

Posted on January 4th, 2019

My client hired me as her consultant. She was in the middle of a divorce mediation. It was an alternative to litigation. The parties hired a neutral forensic CPA. He calculated her husband’s income available for support. The new tax law for alimony will change on January 1, 2019. Spousal support from orders filed by December 31, 2018 will be treated under the old tax law. Her husband wanted to settle the alimony before January. It was to his tax advantage. However, the forensic accountant’s opinion was based on incomplete information. But it would take more time to gather complete information. Time was against her husband. So he pressured my client to settle for a lower alimony. She believed that the spousal support would be higher with complete information.


My client was in a pickle. She wanted to avoid litigation. But she didn’t want to rush her decision. Her decision would be based on the forensic accountant’s report. Her husband wanted to use the report. It concluded he made less income. However, the opinion was based on incomplete information. Incomplete information means incomplete opinions. I told my client an incomplete opinion is better than a guess. I wanted her mediation to succeed. She believed mediation had many benefits. But she didn’t want to wait for additional information. I had to provide a “creative” solution. So I told her to leverage two things for a higher alimony. She can leverage the report’s incomplete opinion. She can also leverage her husband’s desire to settle before 2019. I told her that you often get what you negotiate instead of what you deserve.

If you need a family law forensic accountant in Orange County or Los Angeles County as a consultant in your divorce mediation, then please call Greg Raffaele at (714) 335-4646 for a free one-hour telephone consultation.

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