A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is a trained financial professional disciplined in navigating clients through the process of a divorce. The CDFA's planning theory incorporates the distribution of assets designated in the marital settlement agreement and plans an equitable post-divorce lifestyle.
The CDFA provides thorough analyses of the financial effect of a divorce to the client and their attorney. This is usually accomplished by being part of a divorce team, which produces comprehensive data depicting their financial future post-divorce. The strategy of a CDFA consists of analyzing pensions and retirement plans, understanding the short-term and long-term effects of dividing marital property, and recognizing the tax consequences of settlement options. Multiple settlement options are explored during the planning process to present realistic scenarios of the client's future financial health and welfare.
The fist step for the CDFA is to collect the client's marital financial and expense data and determine the level of risk they are willing to take with their investments. Once the pre-divorce financial picture has been drawn, the CDFA will develop a budget, set retirement objectives, and identify the kind of post-divorce lifestyle feasible for the client.
When children are involved, knowledge of regional child custody laws and similar precedent cases is expected of a CDFA as part of an amicable parenting plan.
In some cases, the CDFA is called upon to serve as an expert witness in court or in litigation proceedings.