One of the hardest things about getting a divorce is that it’s an emotional time — and a really bad time to be emotional.
If you’re still thinking with your heart and not your head, you may not be thinking about the long-term financial consequences of the decisions you’re making during your divorce. That’s where a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) can help. Here are few things you should know.
1. Your divorce lawyer is not a financial expert. He or she is a legal expert. While the two areas do cross over, the finer intricacies of some financial issues are better left to financial experts to evaluate. Then your attorney can concentrate on getting you the most equitable agreement possible — or at least one that you won’t regret agreeing to when tax time comes.
2. A CDFA has additional training that allows him or her to look at your current situation and project into your future based on different variables.Your CDFA can help you understand what consequences you might face by dividing marital property a certain way, look into issues with the way your pension or retirement funds are being distributed and help you determine what you can and cannot realistically afford.
3. As a financial expert, a CDFS can testify in court if you need a witness who can help the court value certain marital assets or calculate the true cost of marital debts — and explain in plain language why a deal that seems equitable on the surface might actually leave you with far less income or assets than anyone imagines.
4. If you and your spouse can’t agree on a fair spousal support or child support, a CFDA can help the court understand the essential costs of your standard of living both now and in the foreseeable future.
Not every divorce case needs the services of a CFDA. If you have few assets and were only married for a short period, there may be very little to divide or dispute. However, if there are any complicated (or contentious) financial issues, a CFDA may be useful. For more information on whether or not this is something you should consider, talk to your divorce attorney today.
Source: nstitute for Divorce Financial Analysts, “What is a CDFA?,” accessed May 05, 2017