Frequently Asked Questions
If I hire a CDFA™, do I still need an attorney?
Yes, definitely. The CDFA™ professional’s role is to assist the lawyer – not to replace the lawyer.
Do you only help women?
No. CDFA’s™ are trained to advocate for both men and women.
How is a CDFA™ different from my regular accountant or financial planner?
An accountant typically looks at financial details as they are today and makes no future projections. In a divorce, they are hired to calculate the tax effect of dividing property and the effect of spousal and child support for one or two years. They may also be retained to perform an audit of account activity or to perform forensic accounting functions to help find “hidden assets.”
A financial planner helps people achieve their financial goals regardless of whether they are divorcing or happily married. After determining the client’s goals, the next step is to take an inventory of current assets and liabilities and then look at what needs to be done to achieve the goals. Then a financial planner continues to review the client’s position, and over time may well recommend a number of necessary or advisable fine-tunings. In other words, the financial planner looks at financial results in the future based on certain assumptions made today, and keeps the client moving toward the stated objectives.
The role of the CDFA™ was created to blend these two approaches. They are well-versed in the particular issues of divorce, and assist the client and their lawyer to understand how financial decisions made today will impact the client’s future based on certain assumptions. So the work of a CDFA™ does involve projecting into the future, but also recognizes that the divorce settlement is a one-time event without the opportunity for later adjustments. You get “one shot” at this, and you have to get it right.