Because of the financial complexity of many divorces, more and more financial professionals are being asked to play an active role in helping individuals and lawyers sort through the financial issues related to divorce. Lawyers are also looking for new ways to help their clients obtain an equitable financial settlement to avoid having to go to court. Most financial planners and accountants excel in their chosen field, but they have little or no training specifically related to the financial issues of divorce. When a client asks them for assistance, many financial planners and accountants are unable to provide the information the client needs—or even worse, they are unaware that they do not have the required knowledge and end up finding out what they should have known only after the divorce has been finalized.
I, as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) professional, come from a financial planning background and have gone through extensive training to become skilled at analyzing and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce. My role is to make sure that clients (and if applicable, their lawyers) fully understand how the financial decisions they make today will impact their financial future. I analyze a settlement proposal before the client signs an agreement that he/she may later regret. I can also work with you and your client to develop a settlement proposal based on the information I am provided and my skills and expertise specifically related to the financial aspects of divorce. Some common mistakes include:
- Negotiating to keep the home when the client can’t afford it.
- Not looking at the long-term impact of a settlement.
- Thinking that retirement assets have the same value as an equal dollar amount of non-retirement assets.
- Not taking into account the effect of deferred taxes when dividing the assets.
- Not understanding how to divide debt.
I, as a CDFA professional can help clients understand:
- The difference between personal and marital property.
- How property is valued and divided.
- Retirement and pensions.
- Spousal and child support.
- Whether the client can afford to keep the house.
- Tax problems and solutions.
My CDFA designation also qualifies me as an expert witness should the need arise for me to present, explain, and back up my findings and analysis in court. For further information on what I can do for you as a CDFA Professional, see here at the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts: https://institutedfa.com/why-hire-cdfa-professional/