For People In the Early Stages of Divorce
Do I need a CDFA?
Hiring a CDFA puts a financial expert, trained in the issues specific to divorce, in your corner. From beginning to end there are a myriad of financial decisions that need to be made. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst we work together to make sure your needs and goals are addressed. Any along challenges and roadblocks are explored with the goal of finding a solution you can live with. You're not likely an expert in divorce and will have many questions. As a CDFA, information and education, along with analysis of "what is" and "what could be" reporting, projections and create thinking are some of the tools used to help you through the process with clarity and confidence. We ask a lot of "what would it look like if" questions to facilitate creative problem solving. You (and often also your soon to be ex) want to make realistic, informed and less emotion-based decisions. Decisions that will undoubtedly impact you and your new two household family both in the short and long term. A CDFA on your team helps you make decisions you can live with without regret.
If your chosen divorce process is one of various "newer" more flexible and cooperative methodologies such as collaborative divorce or mediated divorce, a CDFA functions as a financial neutral; advocating for the best outcomes all around given each parties desires, needs and goals.
In a more traditional, litigated divorce, my role as a CDFA is as an advocate for one party, although in some circumstances the reporting and analysis we create can be shared with the other side which often reduces costs and creates outcomes that avoid extra attorney time and expensive litigation.
For Attorneys and other Divorce Professionals
If you are a family law attorney or other divorce professional who already utilizes the services of a CDFA with your clients, you've seen how a CDFA save you time, create charts, reports and other materials to facilitate discussion and resolution of issues, and and most importantly reduce the stress and uncertainty clients feel making the many life-altering financial decisions necessary during a divorce. When questions related to financial realities and uncertainties are addressed with education and projections from the financial neutral or CDFA a large source of tension, stress and conflict is reduced. Clients can move forward through the decision making process in a less emotional, more confident state, allowing the other divorce professionals (legal, divorce coach/mental health, co-parenting coordinator, etc) to focus on those parts of the divorce using their strengths and tools bringing resolution and best outcomes for all.
Having a financial advocate (in litigated cases) or a financial neutral (in mediated or Collaborative cases) can help build not only acceptable, but often creative and modern financial solutions.
If you are a therapist with clients contemplating divorce, some individuals and couples find a conversation with a CDFA can bring some clarity around their financial picture. The biggest question most need an answer to is "Am I going to be OK?" if I move forward with divorce.
Creating Two Homes Out of One
Divorce can create financial trauma. Income(s) that covered one household now cover two. Emotional tensions are high and the decisions you make throughout the divorce process impact your financial future - either positively or negatively.
Even if you think your financial situation is pretty basic, seemingly small details can have big impacts. Dividing marital property gets more complicated with each additional category:
- A Home
- Executive Compensation
- Rental Property
- Small Business
- Collectibles, Boats, Jewelry
- Pre-Marriage Assets/Debts
Add to the mix the variety of tax, legal, financial, and emotional differences that exist within each category and the complexity multiplies exponentially. Take for example, IRA's. Most people know there are differences in taxability. But how do you adjust and equalize if one party takes the non-taxable and the other takes the taxable? Every decision has consequences. How do you ensure those decisions are consistent with your post-divorce dreams and goals?
Would you like a 20 minute call to discuss your unique situation and answer your questions?