There is an old saying, “Would you see a mechanic about a heart problem?” Of course not – you would go to a doctor, specifically a cardiologist. I believe that when you file for divorce, you should have a team of trained professionals to assist you. That brings me to the subject of this article.
Divorce Attorneys are not financial planners. They are highly educated legal professionals who have earned the privilege to provide legal advice. Unless your attorney has an LLM post-graduate degree in taxation, or other financial discipline, they may not know any more than you do about the best way to approach dividing your marital assets. Often, this complex situation comes down to percentages – “who gets what slice” of the total pie? But there is much more to this process than answering that question. There is also the “who get’s what assets, why, and is it truly fair?”
A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is a financial professional who has taken advanced courses on the financial issues of divorce. A CDFA helps clients and their attorneys make smart financial decisions in their divorce – before they settle. They’ll help you understand the tax status and types of assets in the divorce, and can help demystify complex assets such as partnerships, closely help businesses, and stock options.
CDFA’s help their clients develop a post-divorce financial plans to prepare them for a new independent future long before they sign the final property settlement agreement. One of the most crucial decisions faced by anyone in a divorce is whether or not it is financially feasible to remain in the marital home after divorce, or whether you should take more in retirement funds or available cash. CDFA’s can help to take the emotion out of the decision-making process by using financial analysis to point out areas of concern or benefit.
Attorneys should not provide financial advice any more than financial advisors, should provide legal advice. You have just one chance to get this right. If you take the time to seek out a CDFA to help you navigate the challenging financial issues in your divorce, the process may become less stressful and easier – on you and your wallet. With their help, you have the chance to put in place an agreement that you and your spouse can understand and live with, without regrets.