The Common Sense Divorce

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What is a CDFA?

Imagine heading out for a night of dancing in your rain boots. Awkward. How about trying to shovel two feet of snow in stiletto heels. Ridiculous! And yet, every day, people ask their divorce lawyers to be their financial guides. It’s the wrong shoe and it just doesn’t fit. Let me introduce you to the right shoe: a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, or by their acronym CDFA, for ease of fit. So what exactly are CDFA’s? These are the people who are trained to deal with all the issues related to divorce and money. Going through a Gray Divorce and focused on retirement and estate planning? A CDFA can help. Vacillating between a lump-sum payout and on-going support? A CDFA can show you how options will impact you in the now and in the future. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Shouldn’t my lawyer be able to do this for me?” you’re so yesterday. Seriously. People who believe lawyers know it all are likely thinking that those running shoes they have go with everything! Lawyers know the law. Divorce lawyers know divorce law. But dissolving a family and financial unit requires more than just a legal eagle.  And in today’s turbulent financial climate, most people need a financial expert who can guide you since, regardless of what you’ve had written into your separation agreement, debts, inflation and the Income Tax Act will over-ride it. Those nagging financial issues inherent to every divorce case are oftentimes the ones that are the most overlooked. CDFA’s are trained to answer questions like:
  • How much will it cost to keep the matrimonial home and can I afford it?
  • What are the tax liabilities of different assets?
  • How will my financial contributions after our date of separation be taken into account?
  • Will I have enough money to live?
  • How are pensions valued and how can they split in a way most beneficial for all?
  • How will our separation affect my children’s college tuition?
  • Should child support stop when my child reaches the age of majority?
  • How can we minimize the tax impact of support payments?
  • How should a business be valued and offset?
  • How can we create a budget and plan this separation to work within it?
If your aim is to “survive” your divorce, you’re aiming too low. You should not only want to untangle your life, you should want to create a solid foundation on which you can build a new life. And while it will cost money to engage a CDFA, when you do, you won’t have to second guess yourself. No need to ask, “Did I get enough?” or “Was that the right choice?” or “Should I have…” Every step you take is one you can take with confidence. Lest you think a CDFA is only applicable to Gucci-wearing divorcees, that just ain’t so. Among the buy-one-get-one-half-off set, the division of assets has even more financial implications and a CDFA can make sure that you’ve got a kick-ass plan to get back to rights as fast as possible. If you go into a divorce settlement with limited financial insights, your shortsightedness can have long-term consequences.  Settlements that seem, at first, to be fair and workable may not stand the test of time.  Your CDFA can show you how decisions you make today will affect the rest