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(How to) Avoid Expensive Divorce Mistakes

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

During divorce, it’s important to get a solid understanding of your finances.  Simply put, financial mistakes today can cost you for the rest of your life. Regardless of where you may be in the divorce process, there are key financial decisions you need to make.

Emotions run high in divorce and chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed.  It’s hard to stay focused on the big picture given the complexities involved.  The decisions you make today will position you for the future.  The role of the certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA™) is to assist a client and his/ her lawyer/ mediator to understand how the divorce financial planning decisions made today will impact the client’s financial future.

Many divorcing couples have questions such as:

  • How do we value our property?
  • Who gets what property?
  • What tax issues must we be concerned with?
  • How do we divide retirement funds and pensions?
  • How will the lower-earning spouse survive financially?
  • Who get the house?
  • What happens if a paying ex-spouse dies?

These are questions that divorce lawyers face with each case. Many lawyers struggle with the intricate financial details that concern tax issues, capital gains, dividing pensions and so on. Lawyers attend law school to become experts in the law, not to become financial experts.

A CDFA professional is someone who comes from financial planning background and goes through an intensive training program to become skilled in analyzing and providing expertise related to the financial issues of divorce.  With advanced training in all financial aspects of divorce including pension valuation, marital vs. separate property, and tax optimization of settlements, we can help craft creative settlement solutions that make financial sense for both parties. Get divorce financial planning expertise when you need it most.

People at the beginning of the divorce process now recognize that the financial issues they’re facing are as important as the legal ones – and many of them are now seeking financial advice about their situation before they enter a lawyer’s office.  It’s certainly advantageous to hire a CDFA first. We can educate the client on various financial considerations, provide an overview regarding options for getting divorced (i.e. litigation, medication, collaboration), and help them gather and organize the required financial materials and documents which will help to contain costs. We can then make referrals to local attorneys after gaining an understanding of the primary issues and financial situation.

Finances, financial projections and analyses aren’t taught in law school – and good divorce attorneys understand they don’t have the expertise and/or the time to handle the financial complexities of their clients’ cases. This means that more and more divorce attorneys are now encouraging their clients to hire a skilled CDFA professional to assist in their case.

If you find yourself in need of an experienced CDFA to guide you through the divorce financial planning aspect of your separation, please don’t hesitate to contact me today.

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