Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I need a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)? I thought my attorney handled all of the issues regarding my divorce.
A: Attorneys are professionals trained to advise and protect people’s legal rights, and they must have a depth of knowledge in all areas of the law in which they practice in order to represent their clients adequately. It is not really fair or reasonable to expect that they will also have the depth of knowledge in taxes, pension distributions, insurance issues, long-term ramifications of property division or financial planning, which will assure that all your concerns about how you will be able to live after the divorce are addressed appropriately.
Q: Will it cost more to hire a CDFA as well as an attorney?
A: Not necessarily, mainly due to these two major reasons:
- 1) CDFA’s generally charge less than attorneys in the same area, thus the amount of professional time spent analyzing your finances will cost less in total. Also, because of their expertise in financial analysis, CDFA’s can often complete the process faster and more accurately, allowing for an excess of time and money to explore financial issues usually not addressed by attorneys.
- 2) Secondly, to the extent that a CDFA can show you ways to save money, you may be able to save more than you pay for the cost of the CDFA’s services. For instance, it may be possible to save you money by structuring your settlement in more tax-efficient ways, or by making sure that the agreement to split any pension plans is worded to assure that you do, indeed, get what you think you’re getting, or by analyzing any number of financial circumstances to find ways to structure solutions to provide you with maximum benefit. The CDFA will also consider cash flow and net worth scenarios to assist you in planning for your near term and future needs.
Q: Should a person hire a CDFA instead of an attorney?
A: Definitely not. The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA™) highly recommends that any person getting a divorce seek legal counsel. The CDFA’s role is to assist the attorney as an expert in divorce financial planning, not replace the attorney.
Q: Do CDFA’s help only men or only women?
A: CDFA’s are trained to advocate for men and women throughout the divorce process. The CDFA simply interprets the numbers and helps the attorney build a strong case that’s in the client’s best interest.
Q: Why hire a CDFA when getting a divorce?
A: The financial issues inherent to every divorce case are often times the ones that are the most overlooked. However, once a divorce settlement has been signed, it’s difficult and costly to change it. Certified Divorce Financial Analysts are trained to answer the following questions for men and women in the process of divorce:
- Who should keep the house?
- How much will it cost to live post-divorce?
- How much alimony/spousal support/maintenance is there going to be and for how many years?
- How will the custody arrangement affect child support?
- How can the retirement accounts be split and the money accessed?
- How can a business be offset?
- Should a business be valued?
- What is the value of health care benefits?
- Will there be enough cash flow to maintain the assets I receive from the settlement?
- What is the tax impact of paying/receiving spousal support, child support, taking distributions from pension plans, from property divisions?
- Most important of all, will the clients be able to financially survive (and thrive) with the settlement post-divorce?
Q: How is Divorce Financial Experts different?
A: Divorce Financial Experts concentrates only on the client’s current and future financial situation to help provide financial peace of mind both during and after the divorce. They do not sell financial products (e.g. life insurance, stocks), which further provides them with the ability to be objective and focused when working with clients on the financial issues of their divorce.