If your divorce involves significant and/or complex assets, a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) can help you and your attorney work toward the best possible property division and spousal support agreements.
While you may not want the added expense of bringing in another professional to your team, the difference a good CDFA can make for your financial future may more than cover their fees.
What does a CDFA do?
A CDFA is a financial professional who’s undergone special training in the financial impacts of divorce. They can provide guidance on things like:
- The long-term value of various assets and property
- The future value of retirement and pension accounts
- How much spousal support you should seek (or expect to pay)
- How to develop a post-divorce budget and financial plan
Those are things that most people couldn’t do knowledgeably under the best of circumstances. When you’re going through a divorce, you’re likely not always thinking logically. You may settle for less than you should just to get things over with. On the other hand, you may fight for things you don’t really need or want just because your spouse wants them.
A CDFA can analyze your assets and help you determine which ones are worth fighting for and which will end up costing you more than they’re worth going forward. They look at the short-term and long-term impact of the things for which you’re negotiating.
Finding the right CDFA for you
Many family law attorneys appreciate having an experienced CDFA on the team because it frees up their time to focus on the legal aspects of the case. If they believe that hiring one is a cost-effective choice for you, they can likely provide some recommendations of CDFAs with whom they’ve worked on other divorces. You may also want to seek recommendations from friends or family.
Even if you and your spouse have a long-time financial advisor, that person should not be advising both of you during the divorce. You want someone who’s looking out only for your interests. Finding a CDFA with whom you trust and feel comfortable can be as important as having a family law attorney you trust.