Family Law Litigation Support

“Litigation Support”

is the act of providing assistance of an accounting nature in a matter involving existing or pending litigation. Stief & Castro, CPAs and Consultants, P.L. is often retained to assist a divorcing party, and his or her attorney, in resolving the financial aspects of a dissolution of marriage. We are qualified and extremely experienced with testifying in Court. Notwithstanding, our first goal is to provide our clients, both attorneys and parties, with the information necessary to negotiate and reach a timely settlement, when possible. Our background in not just divorce accounting, but actual family law litigation, often allows us to reach our goal. Our family law litigation support team focuses on the following areas:

Equitable Distribution

Alimony, Child Support, Attorneys Fees

Discovery Preparation

Additional Litigation Support

Equitable Distribution
Litigation Support

Equitable Distribution: The fair distribution of marital property and debt obligations during a dissolution of marriage.

  • Determination and valuation of assets and liabilities
  • Determination of non-marital assets and liabilities
  • Retirement account analysis (including the valuation of any marital and nonmarital components and the determination of the most efficient and effective way of dividing said assets)
  • Tracing analysis: Analysis to determine that all assets and income have been identified
  • Business Valuation: A business interest can be a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. As a result, our experts are trained to value business interests
  • Dissipation Analysis: Dissipation is considered “marital waste.” Dissipation occurs when one spouse wastes marital monies (i.e. on a girlfriend or boyfriend during the marriage), and as a result, owes the other spouse a return of 50% of the wasted fund. When necessary and when permitted by law, Stief & Castro reviews and analyzes all discovery in order to calculate the amount of dissipation.
Alimony, Child Support, Attorneys Fees...
Judge Money
  • Tax Return Analysis: As Certified Public Accountants and tax preparers, we are keenly prepared to review all tax returns. However, tax returns are only the starting point. In family law tax returns often do not tell the entire story. Our knowledge and expertise allow us to use tax returns to learn about streams of income and assess various potential income issues.
  • Income Analysis: Each party’s income is important in the determination of alimony, child support, and even attorney’s fees and costs. While income is often straight forward when a person is an employee, income analysis becomes more complicated when employees receive additional benefits or perks, or especially when the party is the owner of his or her own business with control over his or her salary and how certain cash outflows are expensed through the business. Our background in family law, along with our advanced knowledge of accounting and forensic principles, allow us to determine actual income for family law purposes.
  • Lifestyle Analysis: In order for alimony (spousal support) to be an issue in a pending dissolution of matter then one party must have a “need” for alimony. If there is no need then there is no alimony. In some cases one party’s ability to pay is not an issue and the issue really is how much someone actually needs. This need is determined by the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during their intact marriage. Stief & Castro reviews all necessary documentation (bank statements, credit cards, etc.) to determination the spending habits of the parties and therefore the related need.
  • Support Schedules: Stief & Castro will assist their clients in determining applicable alimony and child support amounts based upon the facts of each case.
  • Temporary Needs Analysis: From the time a case is filed and until its conclusion, the period of time is known as the “temporary” period of time. It is quite common for one party to have a need for alimony, child support and/or attorney’s fees and costs during the temporary period. In addition to a need, a determination of an ability to pay and a source of assets must be made. Our firm assists our clients with assessing these issues, negotiating settlement of said issues, and preparing for court when necessary.
  • Historical Earnings/Imputation Analysis: We hope it is clear that income is a component of many issues in a dissolution of marriage case. Often attorneys need information related to a party’s historical earnings in order to show a voluntary or involuntary change at the time of divorce. Also, a party’s need may be reduced by the income they can earn, and as a result, an analysis of a party’s previous earning capacity must be completed. Stief & Castro’s advanced understanding of family law permits us to identify and complete all necessary analysis.
  • Modification of Alimony and/or Child Support:We know that things can change over time. A party in a family law matter may be entitled to a modification of alimony and/or child support when there is a substantial, involuntary and permanent change in circumstances. We often are asked to assist in proving, or disproving, that there has been a substantial, involuntary and permanent change in circumstances regarding someone’s income.
Discovery Preparation
Contract to sign

Discovery Preparation: The investigative process used by parties to the lawsuit or their lawyers in order to gather information related to the lawsuit. Stief & Castro assists the party and attorney in completing and or preparing for all types of discovery. In Florida family law these tools consist of the following items:

  • Family Law Financial Affidavit: A sworn statement of your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. This is arguably the most important document in a divorce. The information provided will establish a parties need or ability to pay and the assets and liabilities that may be subject to equitable distribution. While this document seems straight forward, many people (party’s and attorneys) often need assistance.
  • Interrogatories: Questions posed to a party that require written answers. Interrogatories are often used to supplement the information provided in a party’s financial affidavit.
  • Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure: Under Florida Rule of Family Procedure 12.285, each party is required to provide to the other party certain documents. Stief & Castro assists their clients in gathering these documents, analyzing them for purposes of completing other discovery (i.e. financial affidavit), and preparing the records for production to the other’s spouse’s professionals.
  • Request to Produce and Response to a Request to Produce: Often mandatory disclosure does not provide enough documentation to complete an analysis of equitable distribution, income, alimony, child support, need and ability to pay. When that is the case, attorneys often use tools known as “Requests to Produce” to obtain more documentation from the other party. As part of our litigation support process Stief & Castro assists attorneys in determining and requesting the necessary documents needed to complete our analysis. When documents are requested from our client we also assist our clients in gathering these documents, analyzing them for purposes of completing other discovery (i.e. financial affidavit) and/or assessing the matter, and preparing the records for production to the other’s spouse’s professionals.
Additional Litigation Support
  • Expert testimony
  • Preparation for and attendance at mediation
  • Preparation for and attendance at depositions (the taking of an oral statement of a witness under oath, before trial)
  • Review of Court Orders and Agreements
  • Preparation of financial disclosure for Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Learn more about our other services

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