What Is A CDFA?

What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™?

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) has earned the credential from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts by completing course work and examinations to test competence in subject matter specific to Financial Planning, Analysis, Accounting and Financial Advisory in Divorce Proceedings.  Regular Family Law specific training, often alongside attorneys, is required to maintain the certification.
Carrie Wilson is also a Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner (CFP®) which is often considered the highest standard in credentials for financial planners.

How can a CDFA™ help me?

A CDFA™’s role is to assist the client and his/her attorney to understand how the financial decisions made today will impact their financial future.  Our clients typically benefit from the following:

* We complete an in depth data gathering process and build a comprehensive picture of budget and net worth details so that sound decisions can be made based on solid information
* We work to limit unexpected consequences by analyzing illustrations of possible settlement scenarios
* We assist with your understanding of the divorce process and the ramifications of complex issues like child support, spousal maintenance, property valuations, retirement and pension assets, etc.
* We help you understand community property vs. separate property characteristics and offer education and insight on the pros and cons of different settlement scenarios
* We provide you with personalized illustrations and reports that detail long term cash flow and net worth implications so that you can fully understand your financial status
* We support your attorney with illustrations, graphs and spreadsheets to facilitate the management of your case
* We offer realistic advice so that your limited resources are used effectively and efficiently to help you reach your goals
* We provide guidance throughout the divorce process, helping you avoid the common financial mistakes made in divorce

How do CDFA™’s differ from other financial professionals?

There are many related financial fields with highly trained experts but most have little or no specific training in the area of divorce.  Several experts may be needed to assist with aspects of your case on a project basis, depending on the level of complication involved.  These may include real estate appraisers, business valuation experts or forensic accountants.  A CDFA™, however, brings specialized training and experience in divorce specific issues to the case and can provide much needed insight to your overall case before the divorce has been finalized.

If I have an attorney, why would I need a CDFA™?

Divorce is a complicated process, involving legal issues, financial issues and mental health issues.  Building a strong team that works together on your behalf is important.  An attorney is required for providing the legal advice.  A mental health professional can help you with the emotional aspects related to divorce.  A CDFA™ brings financial expertise to the team and can provide education and support to you and your attorney on the financial issues involved.

Who should utilize a CDFA™ and when should services begin?

All individuals going through the divorce process will benefit from financial counseling and advice.  We work with clients from a variety of backgrounds and in all situations.  Women or men may retain services individually or many times couples may require a financial neutral.  Some clients request assistance prior to making a decision to divorce.  Many clients utilize our services throughout the divorce process to help them with information organization and analysis.