Of course you have questions. When you said "I do", divorce was the last thing on your mind.
When should I hire a CDFA?
You can engage my services prior to hiring your attorney or after. The benefit to working with me first, is that you go into your meetings with your attorney fully understanding your financial situation and having the clarity and confidence to make the many big and small decisions, each of which has short and long term financial consequences for your future. If you have any questions along the way, we work through them with additional analysis as needed to insure you have the information you need to move forward.
How much should I expect to pay?
You should expect to pay between $500 and $5,000. Most clients find they save many, many times over that amount. The decisions they made based on the information they receive from this process helped them maximize their short and long term financial well being.
Can't My Attorney Do This?
Your attorney is an expert in the law. Even the smartest, most competent attorney who enjoys numbers and the complexities of the financial world most likely does not have the specific training, the tools nor the time or qualified staff to perform the type of in depth, detailed, and comparative analysis and reporting you'll get from a CDFA.
I have a financial advisor, can they do this?
In most cases, your financial adviser is not a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst with specialized training and analysis tools and reporting necessary for divorce situations. Often a financial adviser primarily deals with invest-able assets (stock/bond/mutual fund portfolio). That is their expertise. A CDFA is independent but also understands the intricate details, strategies and interplay of ALL your financial workings such as: assets, cash-flow (current and down the road), social security, retirement plans, small business issues, executive compensation, liabilities (loans/credit cards/etc), housing and mortgage details and other items with critical consequences. In many pieces of divorce such as asset division timing and tax issues are just a few of the many pitfalls which can make or break one's financial health now or down the road. Knowing technical details, some which apply only in divorce are especially critical. You may also weigh your feelings about how independent your financial advsor can be if he/she has been working with both you and your spouse in the past. Some advisers will tell you that ethically they will only provide the same information to both you and you spouse. Alternatively, and to remain neutral, they could refer you to an independent source, like a CDFA, who works with you during the divorce process, and once the assets are divided, your financial adviser is engaged once again, post-divorce for ongoing services and advise.
I'm not wealthy Do I still need a CDFA?
If you have an above average income, a variety of assets (retirement or non-retirement), small business, any sort of non-salary executive compensation (Restricted Stock Units/Stock Options, etc), or you have children it is critical to use a CDFA. However, anyone wishing to maximize their post divorce financial health and well being and minimize the stress and uncertainty of the divorce process will benefit from the services of a CDFA.