Divorce frequently involves complex financial and tax issues. In May, I was designated as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® by the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts® and am now one of approximately fifty to obtain that certification in North Carolina. To become eligible to become a CDFA™, one has to have been engaged for three years in the financial services, accounting, or family law field. To become qualified as a CDFA™, I had to successfully complete a series of exams based on divorce fundamentals, the financial issues of divorce, and the tax issues of divorce and submit an analysis of a complicated case study.
The vast majority of CDFA’s are members of the financial industry or the accounting field and have traditionally participated in the litigation process assisting a spouse’s legal counsel with regard to the various financial settlement options. A CDFA can also be an invaluable member of a collaborative divorce team, providing expertise as a “financial neutral” and acting as a resource for both spouses and their lawyers. The term “financial neutral” means that the CDFA works for both spouses to help them and their attorneys consider optimal financial options as the spouses move forward into two households.
In deciding to seek the CDFA™ certification, I did not do so to serve in the traditional role of a CDFA™, either in the litigation or collaborative divorce process. The interdisciplinary approach used in collaborative cases means financial and tax experts frequently contribute to a case’s resolution. Rather, my objective was simply to be able to better serve and advise my clients as their attorney with regard to the many complicated financial issues that arise as a result of separation and divorce.