What Can A CDFA® Do For You?
More often than not, a CDFA is a financial planner that after going through the divorce process themselves realizes how invaluable having an unbiased, experienced and empathetic financial advisor can be. As a result, they commit to strengthen their knowledge regarding the financial intricacies of divorce by taking part in the Institute for Divorce Financial Planning’s educational curriculum and exam.
You may have been married to a controlling spouse and still are at the point where you think everything they say must be done, you may have let your spouse handle all financial matters and don’t have the time or mental capacity for an immediate in-depth education, you may be a great mom or dad overwhelmed from trying to compensate for the parenting your kids aren’t receiving from your spouse, or you may have been fortunate enough to split amicably. Whatever your situation, if you had assets of significant value there will be financial ramifications for hasty decisions.
A CDFA’s goal is also to act as a financial coach. We help organize the financial data, establish priorities, create projections for the future, evaluate settlements and help develop a plan to move forward. We also hope to mitigate the turmoil divorce can bring by showing clients what is worth negotiating for and what may need to be let go.
CDFA's can also serve as a financial neutral where we don't pick sides, we evaluate the whole financial picture and show how each side might best meet their goals. We then help negotiate a settlement each side is happy with. This saves the time and expense of paying 2 lawyers with each side out to win. After an agreement is reached, it is then taken to an attorney for review and to be processed.
Include Us From the Start
We can be most valuable if contacted in the beginning, when the thought of divorce initially comes up. If the main reasons are financial, we can help spouses get on the same page and maybe have hope of repair. We can also help show what your life might look like if you were forced to choose divorce and help get your ducks in a row on the front end. Once lawyers become involved, and the back and forth begins, emotions heighten, and sometimes poor financial settlement decisions are made in moments of weakness or due to lack of knowledge.
As with most things in life, there is a cost, but to help avoid receiving a letter from the IRS, incurring a huge tax liability because money you through was readily available is really going to be reduced 30% because of taxes & penalties or even inaccessible due to vesting issues, or not getting stuck with a house you have little hope of being able to pay for, will hopefully make it worth it in the long run.