On the day 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 shortly thereafter. The benefit to working with me first, is that you go into that first meeting with your attorney fully understanding your financial picture and the financial issues that are critical for you. With the financials completed, everyone can focus on the strategy and issues at hand. Most attorney's welcome your CDFA and we are included in the process as "what-If's are looked at and each detail becomes finalized. The money you spend with your CDFA is should be offset by the savings in billings by your attorney's office who often charge a higher rate and are not financial experts.
How much should I expect to pay?
Each CDFA sets their own fees. Some charge an hourly rate and some charge a flat fee based on the complexity your finances. You should expect to pay between $500 on the very low end for a few hours of time to perhaps $10,000 on the high end if you need a business valuation or other more complex items to work through. CDFA rates also depend on economics in your specific city and state. Clients often say they were reluctant to spend the money on a CDFA, only to be thankful later as they realize the decisions they made based on the information they receive from this process helped maximize their short- and long-term financial well being and the money spent was returned in both immediate peace of mind and enhanced long outcomes.
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 investable 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. If your advisor has been working on behalf of both you and your spouse, they likely have an obligation to remain neutral and may tell you they must ethically only provide the same information to both you and your spouse. I have worked with couples and their wealth advisors who have welcomed me onto the divorce team, because most often, they wish to remain your advisor (and your spouses advisor) post-divorce for ongoing planning services and advise and this gives them the opportunity to remain supportive of both.
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, you will likely benefit from hiring 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.
If you have questions, I offer a 20-30 minute complimentary call.