When contemplating divorce, most people think first of hiring a lawyer. However there are many complex factors that affect the outcome of a divorce, especially when financial issues are at the heart of marital discord. According to a survey of divorce-focused financial planners, money is one of the main issues cited in 22% of divorce cases.
In the case of divorces caused by financial disagreements, a divorce-focused financial planner or certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) can help a spouse navigate the divorce process. A CDFA can help spouses understand the complete financial picture so that they can make informed financial decisions through each step of the divorce.
Often, women have less insight into finances, like the household budget, insurance plans, and existing assets. Without that crucial insight, a spouse may not be able to advocate for a fair share of marital assets. It would seem that the benefits of working with a CDFA would mean that spouses frequently work with them, but this is not the case. According to a survey by the Association of Divorce Financial Planners and Worthy from 2019, just 6% of U.S. women hire CDFAs for their divorces. Lack of knowledge about the profession could be one reason 60% of those surveyed said they did not know about CDFAs.
On the outset, a CDFA could look like an extra expense. However, a CDFA can work with both parties to ensure an equitable and fair distribution of assets between spouses as part of an amicable divorce. A well-executed, amicable divorce is not only preferable on an emotional level, but it can be less expensive than a contested divorce. The time spent with a CDFA can reduce the time needed in court over financial issues, which results in reduced legal fees overall.