Some of the questions that divorce attorneys face in each divorce case are:

  • Who gets what property?
  • How will the lower earning spouse survive financially?
  • How do we divide retirement funds and future pensions?
  • Who gets the house?
  • How much spousal/child support should be paid (if any)?
  • What are the tax issues?
  • What happens if a paying ex-spouse dies?

What many attorneys struggle with, however, are the intricate financial details, such as: tax issues, capital gains, and dividing assets including pensions.

In the family law arena, “Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™” and “CDFA™” are relatively new terms. More and more attorneys, judges, mediators, and arbitrators are starting to learn about the CDFA™ designation and how working with a CDFA™ could support clients in the divorce process.

Good attorneys clearly recognize the need for quality financial experts in order to help their clients get the most favorable results possible through settlement or in the event of a contested trial.

How do CDFAs™ fit into the process? There are several different roles a CDFA™ can play when working with attorneys:

  • Strategist/Litigation Support: Before the case is even filed, a CDFA™ can be used as a strategist in the litigation process to help the divorce attorney to understand what the financial implications are for different divorce settlements. This can give the attorney the ammunition he/she needs to negotiate the most advantageous settlement for the client.
  • Financial Expert: As the financial expert, a CDFA™ can be called on to review and give input on investment data, retirement plans, benefit programs, business records, tax returns, and all other financial data.
  • Data Collector/Budget Preparer: A key support role that a CDFA™ can play is to collect the necessary data to prepare the financial affidavit and pre and post divorce budgets.
  • Evidence Presenter: In meetings with the client; the client and his/her attorney; the client, spouse and the attorneys; mediation sessions; arbitration hearings or the trial, a CDFA™ is often asked to present evidence to show the financial impact of different settlement options or information related to financial, tax, investment or retirement plan issues.

The role of the CDFA™ is to assist the client and the attorney to understand how the financial decisions they make today will impact the client’s financial future based on certain assumptions. Due to the financial complexities and the role they can play in getting the most equitable settlement for their clients, more and more attorneys are bringing financial experts into the divorce process right from the start.

If you would like to enhance your practice by engaging our Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, contact us to schedule a complimentary one-hour introductory session.