Broker Check

Divorce Planning

Why hire me?

 

  • I help save you both time and money because we know exactly what is needed to help fast-track the process.
  • I help you avoid financial pitfalls in your final divorce agreement.
  • I provide you with confidence knowing that all options have been considered.
  • I assist you in developing a reasonable budget to help you avoid financial issues after the divorce.

 

What is a CDFA®?

CDFA® is someone who comes from a financial planning, accounting or legal background and goes through an intensive training program to become skilled in analyzing and providing guidance related to the financial issues of divorce.

Financial problems can tear a marriage apart, and are often the primary factor that leads to divorce.  Once a decision to separate or divorce has been reached, all sorts of questions bubble to the surface. These questions are often clouded by wounded emotions and accompanied by mutual accusations, which comes as no surprise. If a couple cannot solve their financial difficulties while the marriage was underway, it is unlikely that they will be able to agree on pressing financial issues when it has fallen apart.

Many divorcing couples have questions such as:
•     Where will the children live?
•     Who will pay for their education and medical treatment?
•     How do we value our property?
•     Who gets what property?
•     What tax issues must we be concerned with?
•     How do we divide retirement funds and pensions?
•     How will the lower-earning spouse survive financially?
•     What additional financial support does that person need?
•     Who gets the house?
•     What happens if a paying ex-spouse dies?

These are the questions that divorce lawyers face with each divorce case. Many lawyers struggle with the intricate financial details that concern tax issues, CRA rulings, capital gains, dividing pensions, and so on. Lawyers attend law school to become professionals in the law, not to become financial professionals. Additionally, even if lawyers happen to have accumulated a degree of financial experience, they are not allowed to testify on behalf of their clients in court.  This is why more and more lawyers have seen the virtue of bringing a financial professional into the divorce process at the very start. Solid information and knowledgeable analysis are important resources in their search for the best possible resolutions for their clients.

Fortunately, with CDFA® professionals, help is on the way.

 

 

 

CDFA’s Responsibilities and the Team Approach

 The role of the CDFA® is to help both client and lawyer understand how the financial decisions made today will impact the client’s financial future, based on certain assumptions.

 The CDFA®:

  • Becomes part of the divorce team, providing litigation support for the lawyer and client, or becomes a member of a Collaborative Law team.  In either event, the CDFA® will be responsible for:
  • Identifying the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
  • Integrating tax issues.
  • Analyzing pension and retirement plan issues.
  • Determining if the client can afford the matrimonial  home – and if not, what might be an affordable alternative.
  • Evaluating the client’s insurance needs.
  • Establishing assumptions for projecting inflation and rates of return.
  • Bringing an innovative and creative approach to settling cases.


The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ also:

  • Provides the client and lawyer with data that shows the financial effect of any given divorce settlement.
  • Appears as a knowledgeable witness if the case should go to court, or in mediation or arbitration proceedings.
  • Is familiar with tax issues that apply to divorce.
  • Has background knowledge of the legal issues in divorce.
  • Is trained to interview clients so as to:
  • Collect financial and expense data.
  • Help client’s identify their future financial goals.
  • Develop a budget.
  • Set retirement objectives.
  • Determine how much risk they are willing to take with their investments.
  • Identify what kind of life style they want.
  • Determine the costs of their children’s education.

 

Specific ways CDFA® can help:

  • Understand the tax impact of spousal maintenance
  • Evaluate higher spousal maintenance payments over a shorter time period versus lower payments over a longer time period
  • Consider a lump sum buyout of spousal maintenance
  • Change ownership of real estate and mortgages
  • Transfer retirement accounts without triggering a taxable event
  • Avoid the 10% penalty when distributing retirement dollars pursuant to the divorce
  • Understand the present value of a pension plan (TRA, PERA, etc.)
  • Transfer investment (non-retirement) accounts without triggering a taxable event
  • Evaluate reduced standards of living after the divorce
  • Calculate the basis of investments
  • Review tax implications on the sale of investments
  • Consider the long-term effect of inflation and how it may affect retirement needs
  • Evaluate risk
  • Evaluate different settlement options