Working With a CDFA



No matter how commonplace divorce has become, it is an emotionally difficult process for everyone involved. Equitably dividing assets after years of marriage and planning for a new financial future for each should be considered carefully and not under duress. This is a time when the divorcing couple may be experiencing the highest level of stress they have ever known while focusing on many important issues at the same time. This is especially so when children's custody issues are also a factor.

As a result of duress, sound financial analysis and planning for a post-divorce financial future when not thinking clearly will produce the realistic consequences of making poor decisions in regard to money. You can get through the emotional and legal part of divorce, but you will have to live with the financial component. A person's financial future must be analyzed and addressed before signing on the dotted line. We are trained to help with the difficult financial process of divorce. Too often a divorce settlement agreed upon may seem fair at the time but turns out to be less than equitable in the future. Each spouse must clearly understand all the positives and negatives of his or her financial decision today and what the future financial effects of that decision may be.

Role as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Financial Planner:

We act as a neutral financial professional to either a couple or individual who may already be in the divorce process of mediation, collaborative or litigation. We help to clarify income available for spousal and child support, identify all monthly expenses, and develop a realistic future budget. It is important to take time to be accurate with the numbers and not omit any monthly expenses or any major expenses that may be looming. What if you agree to accept less support than is really needed? What if you agree to support payments that you cannot really pay? What if one spouse agrees to keep the house in place of a future pension, for example, and then cannot afford the ongoing maintenance required on the house? What if one spouse does not have retirement funds put away? What if future taxes are due on an asset that was not considered when divided? Did one spouse have separate property that should have been financially identified? We can help with these issues and more.

Although we do not provide legal advice or legal documents, our expertise can help cut the cost of a long court proceeding by paving the way to a fair settlement for each spouse. We can become part of the professional team (attorney, therapists, etc.) to financially evaluate different settlement options. We are aware of the specific tax laws that apply to divorce and have background knowledge of the legal issues in divorce. When investments are involved, we can evaluate them as to their cost basis, the tax liability if they are sold, how risky they are to keep, what kind of return they are producing, etc. In other words, we help to identify which asset and liability is the best and most suitable for one spouse to have going forward versus the other spouse.

Why you should consider working with a Divorce Financial Mediator:

  • Know the future financial effect of any given divorce settlement. Avoid the fear of the unknown.
  • Understanding your financial situation will give you a sense of control over your life—before, during, and after divorce.
  • Avoid litigation. Resolve and reach a creative and mutually agreeable solution that meets the best interest of the parties and families.
  • Efficient/low cost/nonadversarial/reduced anxiety for all.
  • Find a settlement fair enough to accept.
  • Know what you have and what you need financially. Know what disposable income is available for support.
  • Complete the process so you and your family can move on . . . and ahead with life.
  • Divorce does not need to be an expensive, exhausting, ugly battle.