When you’re thinking about divorce, there are likely two major issues rolling around in your head at 3 AM:
- How your family will handle this transition.
- What your finances will look like when things are settled.
If you’re already worried about your finances, it can be hard to think about spending what feels like extra money on a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA™). And, frankly, it’s sometimes hard for women to think about spending money on themselves and their own wellbeing.
Because women are statistically more likely to be caregivers and have historically suffered from the gender wage gap, you might already feel like you’re financially behind. Throwing a divorce into the mix might be making you feel like it could be virtually impossible to recover financially. Right now, it’s important for you to find the right trusted resources to move forward toward the best outcome.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. The average cost of working with a CDFA™ is between $2000 and $5000. CDFA™s typically charge an hourly rate, so your cost is based on how complex the case is. (This is just a ballpark – not a guaranteed estimate.)
Where You’ll Save
According to DivorceSource.com, here are some ways you’ll make up the cost of using a CDFA™:
- A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) is aware of each document you will need in order to obtain the fairest marital settlement agreement and to substantiate the Marital Standard of Living for Spousal Support and income available for Child Support.
- Having these documents ahead of time eliminates delays you may encounter once the divorce process has begun. These are also documents your attorney or mediator will immediately request of you, so you will have a leg-up when you start the process by being organized, and at a time when you are more likely to still have access to these important documents.
- You will have a clear idea from the onset of your likely financial ramifications from getting an accurate and thorough picture of your family assets, debts, income, and expenses, while including specifics as to any tax benefits and/or liabilities. While demystifying the process, many people have found this a useful evaluation tool for assessing the economic feasibility of proceeding with a divorce action.
- Knowing and applying the myriad tax benefits and other cost savings benefits provided by the law, and incident only to divorce, a CDFA™ can maximize their use. The cost savings can then accrue to the benefit of the parties, rather than going towards an unwarranted payment of taxes or rather than accruing to one party alone, who will carry the liability into the future to their sole detriment.
- A CDFA™ is also skilled at understanding investment features and their costs (sometimes not readily apparent); how these will affect settlement scenarios, and whether they skew the results to one party's benefit or loss.
- The CDFA™ can also forecast the effects of any proposed settlement, providing a year-by-year picture (and bottom-line number) of the effect on each party's net worth and cash flow - details a judge likes to see.
- The CDFA™, by combining both the tax and long-term financial planning knowledge, saves you from having to hire two professionals (an accountant and a financial planner), whose services often overlap, for an additional area of cost savings.
- The CDFA™'s work is recognized by the courts so you won't have any "do-overs" with another professional and set of fees.
In a September 2022 article in The Street, a woman shared her devastating divorce story that involved an ineffective (to say the least) attorney, an abusive husband, and the financial outcome that will affect her for the rest of her life. (CLICK HERE to read the article.)
She ended her story by saying this:
“Definitely seek out a CDFA to advocate for you, and your children if applicable. Make sure your attorney understands the financial aspects the divorce will have on your future. If necessary, fire him or her and find one who will listen to you and advocate for you.
You, my dear, are worth every penny.”