A CDFA® will help you and your attorney understand how your divorce agreement will impact your future financial stability. The CDFA® will help identify short-term and long-term effects of dividing marital property, and if possible, assist you in proposing an alternative property division settlement that ensures a better financial future for you. The expert will also review your financial information and project how much money you need to maintain your current lifestyle after your divorce.
A CDFA® can help you determine if you can (or should) keep your marital home, identify future financial goals, develop a budget, and identify any divorce-related tax consequences. If necessary, the CDFA® can also testify as an expert financial witness on your behalf during the trial.
Not all divorcing couples need a certified divorce financial analyst, but it’s very common for spouses to underestimate the real value of their assets. If you and your spouse own a business, significant property, or retirement and investment accounts, it might be in your best interest to hire a professional. Valuing pension accounts can be especially complicated, and a CDFA® can assist you in making sure you pay or receive what is equitable.
Even in cases where you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse don’t have many assets to divide, if you’re unsure of how you’ll stay on your feet financially after the divorce, a CDFA® can help you create a post-divorce budget.
Specifically, if you need assistance with any of the following, a qualified CDFA® may be able to help you:
Like attorneys, not all financial analysts are the same. Often attorneys or therapists may have existing relationships with professionals.
When finding a professional on your own, be sure to verify the CDFA’s credentials to ensure the analyst meets state standards. According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, a CDFA must have a minimum of three years of professional experience in finance or divorce and a 4-year bachelor’s degree to enroll in certification programs. Once enrolled, prospective CDFAs must complete a minimum of four exams before becoming certified.
To remain in good standing, CDFAs must maintain their certification by paying an annual fee and providing proof of divorce-related continuing education every two years. Before you proceed with hiring your analyst, ask for proof of current license or certification.
If you’re going through a divorce or you see divorce in your near future, consider hiring a certified divorce financial analyst to prepare a thorough analysis of your finances to help prevent you from signing a marital settlement agreement that will hurt you in the future.