Many divorcing people hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). These are financial professionals who have undergone special training to deal with issues around divorce.
If your divorce is going to involve the division of considerable and/or complex assets, you can likely benefit from having a financial professional on your team. You don’t want to rely on any financial or tax advisors who have worked for you and your spouse jointly in the past. No matter how honest they are and how comfortable you may feel with them, you need people who have no split loyalties.
What does a CDFA do?
A CDFA will work with you and your attorney to help you weigh both the short-term and long-term implications of various settlement options, including spousal and child support. Even spouses who are splitting considerable wealth can have concerns about their own future financial well-being, especially if they don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
A CDFA can also analyze and help you collect your financial documentation and understand the documents provided by your spouse. This can help you and your attorney determine what assets are in play and what your spouse’s financial situation really is. They may recommend bringing in a forensic accountant if they believe there are hidden assets to be found. They can also help you develop a financial plan as you move forward once the divorce is settled.
By including a CDFA on your team, your attorney has more time to focus on the legal issues at hand and on other aspects of the divorce, such as child custody. A CDFA can also help you make financial decisions based on empirical data rather than emotions.
Could you benefit from a CDFA?
If you think that bringing in a CDFA would be beneficial to securing your financial future, talk with your attorney. They may know one or more CDFAs with whom they’ve worked and whom they believe would be a good fit. If not, they can advise you as you select one.