Using A Divorce Financial Analyst

By Tracy Achen

Most people never think about hiring a divorce financial analyst when getting a divorce. But it is something you should consider because divorce can have a disastrous effect on your financial future. Unfortunately, most people don't know what their rights are or how to evaluate whether a proposed divorce settlement is fair or not. They have a lot of questions, such as: 

  • Can I get alimony and how will it affect my taxes?
  • Who gets the house?
  • Are retirement accounts subject to division and how are they handled?
  • How can I survive financially after the divorce?

It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the issues that need to be settled in a divorce, especially when it comes to the division of assets and debts. Not only do you want to get a fair settlement, but you also need to look to your future to make sure you can survive financially.

You may really want to keep the house; but can you realistically afford to pay the mortgage and expenses? Maybe your husband has proposed a one-time settlement instead of alimony. Do you know if it's a good deal or not? This is where a financial expert can come in handy.

How a divorce financial analyst can help

A certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) is specifically trained to help people work through the financial issues of divorce. They also help their clients understand both the short and long term financial impact of any proposed divorce settlement. While a CDFA works with all types of clients, their services are especially beneficial to high-income couples and those who've been married a long time.

A CDFA can help you understand financial issues such as:

  • What is considered marital property and what is separate property. 

  • How pension funds and retirement accounts are divided in a divorce and what paperwork is required.

  • How marital property is valued and the best way to divide it. 

  • Whether you should keep the home, let your spouse have it, or sell it and split the proceeds. 

  • How a business should be valued and divided. 

  • The possible tax implications of any proposed divorce settlement. 

  • The long-term financial implications of your divorce settlement proposals.

A financial analyst can also address post-divorce finances by helping you to develop a budget prior to negotiating your divorce. This information can help you determine what you'll need to survive and which assets can help you achieve financial security. They can also help you plan for and address how future expenses for your children will be handled without having to go back to court over every little thing.

Getting professional financial advice

There are many types of financial professionals, but your needs are best met by someone who specializes in divorce issues, such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. To become a CDFP, a person needs to have at least 3 years of financial planning or legal experience and undergo training to become certified. You can find out more about the specific requirements as well as search for professionals in your in your area by visiting the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.

Timothy McNamara: Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

We also have a lot of financial questions which have been answered by our financial expert on the Financial FAQs page. Even though Timothy McNamara is no longer accepting questions, you can read through his answers for insight on how to handle settlement issues. If you need individual advice on the best way to handle your divorce finances, you should contact a professional in your area to receive guidance based on the divorce laws in your state. 

Updated June 9, 2021