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What is a CDFA and why do you need one in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Divorce

In California and throughout the country, many people encounter serious financial challenges when they decide to move on in life without their spouse. This is true for those who have high-net-worth values, as well as people who must pinch pennies to make ends meet. For some, especially women who sacrificed a career to stay home full-time and raise a family, a divorce can spark a full-blown financial crisis that is difficult to resolve.

When you’re headed for divorce court, knowledge is power. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about the legal process of divorce, in particular community property guidelines, which California applies. The more you know, the better you can make informed decisions and protect your interests. Working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) may help.

What does a CDFA do in a divorce?

A CDFA is a trained professional who focuses on the economic aspects of divorce. This person would not take the place of a family law attorney but is a resource you may want to add to your support network as you prepare for property division proceedings. In many cases, a CDFA can supplement an attorney’s efforts by being willing to testify in court regarding financial records and other relevant information.

A CDFA can help you make a full assessment of your current financial status, as well as project what the future implications (economically speaking) of your divorce might be. As a financial adviser, a CDFA can also help you compile a list of needs and goals to map out a post-divorce financial plan. A family law attorney can then address the legal aspects of a divorce, including making sure that you receive a fair settlement.

A CDFA can determine the correct value of your assets

In California, spouses split marital property 50/50 in a divorce. To determine what a fair distribution would be, you must first know the true value of your assets. A CDFA can provide an accurate valuation, as well as recommend a fair distribution  plan. The financial aspect of divorce can be emotionally upsetting, especially if you and your ex disagree on one or more issues.

Another benefit of hiring a CDFA is that he or she brings objectivity to the table. It is difficult to set emotions aside when trying to sort out finances in a divorce. Allowing a professional financial analyst to do the sorting for you helps alleviate stress and enables you to focus your energy on other important matters.