Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Professional

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Professionals’ Responsibilities and the Team Approach

The role of the CDFA® professional is to help both the client and lawyer understand how the financial decisions made today will impact the client’s financial future, based on certain assumptions.

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A CDFA® professional is someone who comes from a financial planning, accounting or legal background and goes through an intensive training program to become skilled in analyzing and providing expertise related to the financial issues of divorce. The CDFA® professional:

Becomes part of the divorce team, providing litigation support for the lawyer and client, or becomes a member of a Collaborative Law team. In either event, the CDFA® professional will be responsible for:

  • Identifying the short- and long-term effects of dividing property

  • Integrating tax issues

  • Analyzing pension and retirement plan issues

  • Determining if the client can afford the matrimonial home—and if not, what might be an affordable alternative

  • Evaluating the client’s insurance needs

  • Establishing assumptions for projecting inflation and rates of return

  • Bringing an innovative and creative approach to settling cases

The CDFA® professional also:

  • Provides the client and lawyer with data that shows the financial effect of any given divorce settlement, pre- and post-tax

  • Can appear as an expert witness if the case should go to court, or in mediation or arbitration proceedings

  • Is familiar with the tax issues that apply to divorce

  • Has background knowledge of the legal issues of divorce

  • Can create a bespoke personal Financial Plan post-divorce to help the individual(s):

    • Reevaluate their goals in light of the new financial picture

    • Identify lifestyle needs and annual/lifetime spending capacity

    • Develop a budget

    • Set retirement objectives

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