Certified Divorce Financial Analyst – Definition

Cite this article as:"Certified Divorce Financial Analyst – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated August 1, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/certified-divorce-financial-analyst-definition/.

Back To: Real Estate, Personal, & Intellectual Property

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Definition

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is a professional who assists clients on financial distribution or decisions that enhance an equitable distribution of wealth during divorce. A CDFA is a financial advisor whose objective is to help clients have equitable divorce settlements.

CDFAs have extensive knowledge of asset distribution, tax law and divorce settlements and use their knowledge to ensure that both parties in  adivorce agree to an equitable division of wealth and assets. Usually, a divorce require two attorneys who represent both parties in the divorce. As experts, they hold meetings and negotiations to complete the divorce papers.

A Little More on What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)

In a divorce scenario, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) should not be confused with an attorney, they are two entirely different professionals. While a CDFA provides support for the parties involved in the divorce with regard to financial settlements, attorneys provide legal advice to the parties. Hence, not all divorce situations require the service of a CDFA, many couples choose to involve them to avoid being cheated in terms of asset distribution. Aso, it is possible for a CDFA to also have the license to provide legal advice in a divorce situation, but in most situations, CDFAs render financial analysis service, they serve as financial advisors.

The Divorce Process With a CDFA

Typically, a CDFA relies on the information supplied by the attorneys in charge of a divorce as well as the clients involved to file a proposal for how assets can be distributed. Alimony, child custody, child support and retirement accounts are also focused on. CDFAs are professionals with vast knowledge and experience in tax law, asset distribution and short- and long-term financial planning, with this knowledge, they come up with many options that can help both parties live well after a divorce.  Oftentimes, the service if a CDFA is needed when both parties have properties they have acquired together or businesses they own, as well as other assets and investments.

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFAs) render the following services:

  • Valuation of assets and debts that the couple own.
  • Helping the parties involved in a divorce understand the value of their assets and debts.
  • Valuation of the marital property.
  • Rendering professional financial advice.
  • Equitable distribution of  retirement or pension accounts.
  • Ensuring alimony, child custody and support.
  • Formulating various proposals to aid the equitable distribution of assets.
  • Helping the parties have a workable financial lan for life after divorce.

Becoming a certified divorce financial analysts entails many processes. The major criteria for a person with be awarded as a CDFA include the following;

  • A minimum of two years of experience in financial planning or legal experience.
  • Completion of a four-step program tailored towards divorce financial analysis.
  • Passing an exam organized by the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA).
  • Adequate work experience in financial planning, financial analysis and tax law.
  • Completion of a self-study program on financial, tax and divorce settlements.

A knowledge of divorce law is a plus to a CDFA but this is not a requirement. In fact, the institute recommends that CDFAs should not be hired to perform the roles of an attorney.

Reference for “Certified Divorce Financial Analyst – CDFA”

Was this article helpful?