Community Partner Highlight

Paul A. Garcia P.A. CPA

Paul Garcia Paul Garcia



Forensic Accounting: Attorney Jordan Abramowitz discusses with Paul A. Garcia, CPA, a forensic accountant’s role in a domestic relations case.

Domestic relations cases involve many different matters, including divorce, paternity, equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, and attorney fees. Often the financial issues in a family law case are complex and add a layer of strain on a family that is already under an extraordinary amount of stress due to the court proceedings.

I am Jordan Abramowitz, Esq, a board member of KidSide, and I sat down with Paul A. Garcia, CPA/CFF, CVA, to discuss the role of a forensic accountant in a family law case. Mr. Garcia has been an accountant for approximately 40 years and is a former president of KidSide. He has served as an expert in over 1000 family law matters in his career, including handling matters such as business valuations, shareholder/partner disputes, handling complex equitable distribution and support matters, and serving as one of the leading experts in forensic accounting in South Florida.

I asked Paul how he would best describe a forensic accountant’s role in a family law case. Mr. Garcia stated that while attorneys serve as advocates for their clients, a forensic accountant aims to “paint the financial painting,” allowing the Court and the parties to understand the marital estate. Mr. Garcia recounted one Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge’s comment that “in dealing with complex financial cases, the answer is always in the forensic accountant’s binder”.

When asked to distinguish between a forensic accountant and a tax accountant, Mr. Garcia advised that his prior work as a tax accountant made him a better forensic accountant. This is because forensic accountants do much more than analyze tax issues. They follow the analytics to find hidden assets, fraud, properly reconcile books and records of a business that may be part of a dissolution proceeding to ensure they receive a true fair market value.

Mr. Garcia stated there are a group of highly experienced forensic accountants in the South Florida area. If you hire a forensic accountant, Mr. Garcia says it is critical to let the expert do their job. He believes that once he is in the case, the litigant should focus on getting him all of the requested information so that before mediation or court proceeding, he can best present the parties’ financial circumstances to the Court.

Mr. Garcia also advised that while forensic accountants focus on the finances of a case, remaining knowledgeable of family law accounting matters can streamline resolution to the financial aspect of the case, which in turn can reduce tension between parents when children are involved.

Mr. Garcia is much more than just a financial expert in family law matters. Throughout Mr. Garcia’s career, he utilized his role as an accountant as a springboard for helping underprivileged families. When Mr. Garcia described his role in KidSide and its assistance to families in the community, his face lit up. Mr. Garcia believes KidSide is critical to families in the Miami-Dade Court system because it gives children and parents who do not have the financial resources the services necessary to preserve, maintain, and enrich their familial relationships in an otherwise difficult time.