To become a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™), you must have a recognized financial planning or accounting designation. The base criteria include a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C), or Registered Financial Planner (RFP) designation. With recognized qualifications, the financial professional attends the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts and receives specialized training to work with divorcing spouses to reach a fair and equitable divorce settlement.
A CDFA™ studies financial issues, looks at the division of assets, and projects the short-term and long-term financial impact of a proposed divorce settlement. Often a 50/50 split does not produce an equal standard of living after the divorce. This is particularly common when the two spouses are unequally situated at the time of the divorce.
Through a specialized software program, a CDFA™ addresses and analyzes property, assets, incomes, expenses, pensions, tax issues, spousal and child support, inflation, cost of living, life insurance, health insurance, and retirement. The CDFA™ works with the client and their legal counsel to take the guesswork out of the numbers. By developing a long-term forecast as opposed to a short-term snapshot, they make financial decisions that take care of not only immediate family needs but retirement needs as well.
In addition, a CDFA™ can help clients develop realistic monthly household budgets during the financial-analysis process to help avoid post-divorce financial struggles and prevent long-term regrets resulting from the divorce process.
CDFA™s are governed by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. CDFA™s who maintain their financial practices should make divorce-planning recommendations independent of the potential financial planning relationship to alleviate the risk of potential conflict of interest.
About the author of this Ontario Divorce FAQ:
June Oliver is a Certified General Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Financial Divorce Specialist in Mississauga and Oakville, Ontario. She can be reached at (905) 257-6528 (Oakville) or (905) 290-2007 (Mississauga). View the Divorce Magazine profile for Ontario Collaborative Divorce professionals.