The Collaborative Divorce:
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A collaborative divorce is a process which allows couples to negotiate the terms of their divorce with a team of professionals working together toward the common goal of settling their divorce amicably and out of court. Through a combination of mediation and negotiation methods, divorcing couples can cooperatively reach an agreement on the critical terms of their divorce, such as property and debt division, child custody and support, and spousal support.

The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) Professional’s role in a collaborative divorce is to help both the client and attorney understand how financial decisions made will impact the client’s financials in the future. They come from a financial planning, accounting, or legal background and goes through intensive training to analyze their client’s individual situation and provide expertise in the financial aspects of divorce. They work as a neutral for both sides of the divorce with the goal of negotiating a mutually agreed upon settlement with minimal conflict.

As a member of a team of collaborative divorce professionals, the CDFA® provides the client and attorney with analysis of the financial effect of any given divorce settlement. They understand tax issues and have a knowledge of legal issues that apply to divorce.

Some of the issues that a CDFA® helps with:

  • Gathering financial and expense data

  • Working with clients on their future financial goals

  • Developing a budget

  • Reviewing their retirement objectives

  • Determining a new lifestyle that that can be afforded

  • When children are involved, planning for their educational expenses

  • Identifying the short- and long-term effects of dividing property,

  • Integrating tax issues into the decision process

  • Evaluating future insurance needs.

  • Determining whether the client can afford to maintain the family home and explore he alternatives.

  • Analyzing pension and retirement plan issues

Considering these issues, the CDFA® Professional helps to bring an innovative and creative approach to settling cases.