CDFA: The Biggest Divorce Asset You’ve Never Heard Of
Have you heard the term CDFA before? No, not the California Department of Food & Agriculture… we’re talking about Certified Divorce Financial Analysts. A CDFA is one of the biggest assets you have never heard of, and quite possibly never knew you needed, in your legal separation. While the position is relatively new, it is an invaluable resource that can help save you money, time and stress, during a difficult time. While statements like that can be reassuring, they are also fairly broad and may not leave you with an accurate picture of what it is they do. “How exactly can they help?”, you might ask. Well, we put together this blog to give you those answers. Below is a deep look at what a CDFA does, and how they can be your biggest asset during a divorce.
What is a CDFA?
A CDFA is a financial professional certified to help guide you on money matters centered around a divorce. CDFA’s can be used independently, or jointly, where they act as financial mediators. While they do not take the place of your divorce attorney, they are uniquely qualified to advise you on financial matters such as your settlement, the division of assets, martial property, taxes, financial planning and more. Your attorney is undoubtedly a key member of your team, but don’t forget their expertise lies in the law, and not in finance– should you find yourself concerned about money during the course of your divorce, a CDFA is a powerful asset to have, both for yourself and for your attorney.
Do I really need one?
While not required in the divorce process, it is in your best interest to enlist the services of a CDFA, especially if you and your spouse have a significant amount of assets. Not only will they help ease the burden and stress from the decision-making process, they are also uniquely qualified to weigh your financial options with a look at the implications for the future.
What is their role in the divorce?
A CDFA will work with you to catalog your assets and liabilities and create a list of financial goals post-divorce. From there, their primary focus is to put together a plan to help you achieve these goals, all the while guiding you through your settlement. The CDFA role will vary based on the divorce clients, however they are certified in providing the following expertise:
- Lifestyle analysis & budgeting for the future (short & long-term)
- Analyzing pension and retirement plans
- Retirement planning
- Creating projections for inflation and rates of return
- Identifying short-term and long-term effects of asset division
- Integrating tax issues and their implications
- Creating comparative financial analyses for divorce settlement options
- Evaluating insurance needs
- Providing expert witness appearances
- Collecting financial and expense data
- Financial goal setting & planning
- Advising on risk management for investments
Why are they my biggest asset?
Your CDFA works with you to conduct a lifestyle analysis in order to get you a “fair and equitable” distribution of assets, with the goal of giving you a standard of living that is as close as possible to your life pre-divorce. This analysis informs your financial plan- that outlines the steps you need to make in both the long and short term– helping get you through to retirement, while still adhering to a monthly household budget.This guidance is invaluable to those going through a divorce, and provides a good, hard look at the numbers while taking the emotions out of the equation. For more information on Certified Divorce Financial Analysts, or to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation, contact Karen Stampone at Stampone & Associates at 215.277.1191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.