A CDFA® professional is a financial professional skilled at analyzing data and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce. The role of the CDFA® professional is to assist the client and his or her attorney to understand how the decisions he or she makes today will impact the client's financial future. A CDFA® can take on many roles in the divorce process:
Financial Expertise and Strategy
CDFA® professionals provide the client and attorney with data analysis that shows the financial effect of any given settlement. They become part of the divorce team and provide support on financial issues such as:
- Understanding the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
- Analyzing pensions and retirement plans.
- Determining if the client can afford the marital home, and if not, what he or she can afford.
- Recognizing the tax consequences of different settlement proposals.
Data Collection and Analysis
Much of a CDFA® professional's role is collect the client's financial data and perform analysis. CDFAs can help manage a client's expectations of their financial future by presenting different scenarios and talking through the client's budget and expenses. CDFAs are trained to:
- Collect financial and expense data.
- Help clients 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 lifestyle they want.
Expert Presenter and Litigation Support
In some cases, CDFA® professionals are called upon to act as expert witnesses in court or in mediation proceedings.