Six Reasons to Use a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

By Diane Gardner, CFP®, CDFA®
LPL Financial Advisor

How a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Helps Divorcing Individuals - The role of the CDFA is to assist the client and his/her lawyer to understand how the financial decisions he/she makes today will impact the client’s financial future.  A CDFA  offers help determining if your settlement is financially feasible, an objective viewpoint in an emotional situation and customized advice about your special financial needs.

How a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Differs from Other Financial Professionals - Most financial planners and accountants excel in their chosen field, but they may have little to no training specifically related to the financial issues of divorce.  A CDFA is trained specifically to help avoid the common financial pitfalls of divorce by:

  • determining short-term and long-term financial impact of a proposed divorce settlement
  • offering insight to the pros and cons of different settlement proposals, and
  • creating personalized reports and graphs illustrating the financial status, cash flow and net worth of both parties.

Why One Needs a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® - A CDVA becomes a key player on your “divorce team,” providing litigation support or collaborative support to your attorney, depending on how you are divorcing.  One of the main questions regarding divorce is “Am I going to be OK financially?” Finding the right professional to assist with your financial questions is critical to the divorce process.  Attorneys provide legal advice, while CDFAs provide financial advice specifically in the context of the highly emotional process of divorce. 

The Role a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Plays in Gathering Financial Data - A CDFA works with the client to identify and collect the financial data from the marriage.  That leads to an evaluation of any key financial data related to divorce-income, deductions, living expenses for the husband and wife, real property and liabilities.  Courts recognize a CDFA as a “financial specialist” in a divorce case which allows the attorney to focus on the legal aspects of the case.

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® Help Both Women and Men - CDFAs are trained to advocate for both men and women.  Their main goal is to help clients, male or female, obtain an equitable financial divorce settlement-equitable meaning fair, not equal.  Because of the financial complexity of many divorces, CDFAs play an active role helping individuals and lawyers sort through the financial issues related to divorce.

The Role a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Plays in a ‘Collaborative’ Divorce - Collaborative Divorce is an alternative to divorce by avoiding litigation.  Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process that is developed to preserve the integrity and dignity of families in conflict. The CDFA is a financial neutral in a Collaborative Divorce to work with both parties to understand their existing finances and explain the impact of different settlement options.


Cottrill Arbutina Wealth Management Group and LPL Financial do not provide legal or tax advice.  Please consult your legal or tax advisor regarding your specific situation. 

This is a hypothetical example and is not of any specific investment.  Your results may vary.