Certified Divorce Financial Analyst FAQ’s

1. How does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) help divorcing individuals?

The role of the CDFA® is to assist the client and his/her lawyer to understand the future impact of financial decisions. A CDFA® offers help determining if your settlement is feasible from a financial standpoint. They provide an objective viewpoint, despite the emotional situation, as well as detailed and customized advice about specific financial needs. Through analysis, a CDFA® will be able to help uncover assets and determine the best long-term financial plan. This assistance continues at all stages of the divorce process from beginning to end.

In fact, a survey conducted by the Institute for Divorce Financial Professionals said 89% of CDFA® Professionals responded that their clients had contacted them before hiring a divorce lawyer. Financial analysts are an important part of the divorce process!

In summary, a CDFA® can help anyone navigating the financial aspects of a divorce. The goal is to make sure clients have seen all their financial options and are set up for their most financially stable future.

2. A CDFA® Professional Can:

  1. Complete detailed financial work for clients, making case preparation and settlements easier.
  2. Provide litigation support on the financial issues of separation and divorce.
  3. Analyze the short- and long-term effects of various property settlements.
  4. Help clients determine their future financial goals.

3. How does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® differ from other financial professionals?

Unlike many financial planners and accountants, a CDFA® is trained to analyze finance issues specifically related to divorce. They are able to provide a number of valuable services to their clients. Most importantly, they help clients avoid common divorce financial mistakes. Through analysis, they help determine the short-term and long-term financial impact of a proposed divorce settlement as well as offer insight to the pros and cons of different settlement proposals. Additionally, they create personalized reports and graphs showing the client’s financial status, cash flow and net worth. Overall, a CDFA® is trained to help find the best-suited settlement options for his/her client.

4. Why is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® who is also a financial advisor the best choice for divorce clients?

A CDFA® who is also registered as a financial adviser can provide a better picture of all aspects of the client’s financial situation. They are able to identify financial assets relating to property and investments that work best for the client. These may include looking at retirement plans, investments, brokerage and investment accounts that may include securities, and other plans. Thus, the adviser can make more accurate recommendations based on the adviser’s experience in the financial industry.

5. Why is a CDFA® who uses an in-house TEAM approach a better choice for divorce clients?

A CDFA® with an in-house team can provide the client with advice from a number of different financial professionals. CPA’s, Will, Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys, financial advisors, insurance advisors, and others can give the client comprehensive advice from several disciplines. These professionals become a part of your overall planning TEAM and work together to address all financial matters.

6. I have an attorney; do I need a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®?

In short, yes! One of the main questions regarding divorce is “Am I going to be ok financially?” Therefore, finding the right professional to assist with your financial questions is critical to the divorce process.

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® becomes a part of your “divorce team,” and provides support to an attorney, depending on how you are divorcing. They provide analyses, backup documents, and recommendations so the attorney has the right tools to negotiate the best possible outcome.  Your attorney provides legal advice while your CDFA® provides financial advice.

Keep in mind that the services offered by a CDFA® are not legal services and are not a substitute for legal service. We will work with an attorney to ensure that both of you better understand the financial consequences of your divorce. Remember, a trained CDFA® provides financial solutions and advice, not legal services.

7. What role does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® play in gathering financial data?

A CDFA® works with the client to find and collect needed financial data. This includes finances during and prior to the marriage. Afterwards, they evaluate any key financial data related to divorce. These include income, deductions, living expenses for the husband and wife, real property, retirement and financial assets, and liabilities. A CDFA® is considered the financial specialist in a divorce case. Remember, a trained CDFA® provides financial solutions and advice, not legal services.

8. Who do Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® help?

CDFAs® are trained to help both both men and women. Our main goal is to help clients and their attorneys obtain a fair, in other words, equitable, financial divorce settlement by providing financial advice. Because finances are complex in many divorces, CDFAs® play an active role helping individuals and their lawyers’ sort through the financial issues related to divorce. Remember, a trained CDFA® provides financial solutions and advice, not legal services.

9. What is Collaborative Divorce? What role does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® perform in a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is when both parties decide to work together to settle their divorce out of the courtroom. This voluntary dispute resolution process was developed to preserve the dignity of families in conflict. In this process, the CDFA® is a neutral financial support resource. In other words, they work with both parties to understand their existing finances and explain the impact of different settlement options.

For more information of the legal aspects of a Collaborative Divorce and whether it is the right process for you, you should consult an attorney. Remember, a trained CDFA® provides financial solutions and advice, not legal services.