Mastering Divorce Finances: CDFA Certification Guide

Onward Staff
July 6, 2023
Start managing shared expenses with your co-parent easily!

What is a CDFA: Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging. That's where a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) comes in. But what exactly does a CDFA do, and do you really need one? In this blog, we will explore the role of a CDFA and how they can help you navigate the financial complexities of divorce. We'll also discuss the differences between a CDFA and other professionals like financial advisors and forensic accountants. Additionally, we'll provide you with questions to ask when hiring a CDFA and tips for finding the right one for your needs. So if you're going through a divorce or considering one, keep reading to discover why a CDFA might be an essential partner in your journey towards financial independence.

What does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst do?

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is an expert in the financial aspects of divorce. They assist clients in understanding the financial implications of their decisions during divorce proceedings, offering analysis and advice on matters such as property division, alimony, child support, and taxes. CDFA professionals collaborate with attorneys and other experts to safeguard the client's financial well-being throughout the divorce process.

What is the CDFA designation and qualification?

The CDFA designation stands for Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. It is a professional certification for financial experts specializing in divorce-related financial matters. CDFA professionals assist clients in understanding the financial aspects of divorce, such as asset division, taxes, and future financial planning. To become a CDFA, individuals must fulfill education and training requirements and pass an examination.

Do I need a CDFA if I have a divorce lawyer?

While a divorce lawyer is essential, a CDFA brings valuable financial expertise to the table. With their specialization in analyzing the financial aspects of divorce cases, a CDFA can help you comprehend the long-term implications of various settlement options. By working with both a legal professional and a CDFA, you'll have comprehensive legal and financial support throughout your divorce proceedings.

What's the difference between a CFP and a CDFA?

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional who helps individuals and families create comprehensive financial plans to achieve their financial goals. They provide advice on investment management, retirement planning, tax strategies, and estate planning. On the other hand, a CDFA specializes in the financial intricacies of divorce cases, assisting individuals in navigating property division, alimony, child support calculations, and tax law during divorce proceedings. While both professionals deal with finances, their areas of specialization differ significantly. A CFP focuses on overall financial services, while a CDFA focuses specifically on divorce-related financial matters.

Do I really need a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst?

During a divorce, it is strongly advised to enlist the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). This professional can offer invaluable expertise regarding the financial aspects of your settlement. By thoroughly analyzing your assets, debts, and future requirements, a CDFA can help you make informed decisions that align with your best interests. Hiring a CDFA not only provides peace of mind but also ensures that your financial well-being is protected throughout the divorce process.

Questions to ask a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

When consulting a financial professional during your divorce, such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), it's crucial to ask relevant questions that will help you navigate this complex process. Begin by gaining an understanding of the CDFA's expertise, certifications, and job experience. Inquire about their ability to assist with various financial issues, including child support, spousal support, division of assets, and retirement plans. Furthermore, ask how working with a CDFA aligns with your financial goals and priorities. By seeking answers to these questions, you can ensure a comprehensive approach to your divorce financial planning.

What financial information is needed for divorce financial planning?

To prepare for divorce financial planning, gather information about your income, assets, debts, and expenses. This includes pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, investment account statements, property deeds, credit card statements, loan agreements, mortgage documents, and a record of your monthly budget.

What should I look for in a CDFA?

When choosing a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), it's important to find someone with experience and expertise in divorce financial planning. Look for qualifications like completion of the CDFA training program. Also, consider their communication skills and ability to explain complex financial concepts clearly. Seek a CDFA who is unbiased and committed to helping you make informed decisions during your divorce mediation and separation.

How much does a certified divorce financial analyst cost?

The cost of a certified divorce financial analyst can vary based on factors like location, experience, and the scope of services needed. Hourly rates range from $150 to $400, while some analysts offer flat fees for specific services. It's advisable to have a discussion about fees and payment structure before hiring an analyst.

Where can I find a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst near me?

To locate a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) in your area, try searching online directories or visit the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA) website. You can also ask for recommendations from your attorney or friends who have gone through divorce. Remember to conduct thorough research and interview several CDFA professionals to ensure you find the best match for your specific requirements.

When should I hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst?

It is advisable to engage the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) at the early stages of the divorce process. A CDFA can provide valuable insights into the financial consequences of your decisions, especially if you have complex assets or concerns about your financial well-being after the divorce. Collaborating with a CDFA and your attorney will help safeguard your financial interests throughout the divorce proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a CDFA help me during a divorce settlement?

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) can provide valuable assistance during a divorce settlement by helping you understand the financial consequences of various settlement options. They analyze your financial situation, including any significant assets, debts, income, and expenses, to help you make informed decisions about property division and support payments. Additionally, they can help create a long-term financial plan for post-divorce stability.

What role does a CDFA play in the divorce process?

A CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) plays a vital role in divorce by offering financial expertise and analysis. They help individuals understand the financial impact of various settlement options, value assets, assess tax consequences, and project long-term financial outcomes. Their aim is to assist clients in making well-informed decisions that align with their financial goals and future needs.

What is the role of a CDFA in asset division during divorce?

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) can assist in the division of assets during a divorce by analyzing the financial consequences of different scenarios, including tax implications and long-term financial impact. Their expertise ensures a fair and equitable division while helping create a comprehensive financial plan for life after divorce.


In conclusion, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) plays a crucial role in helping individuals navigate the complex financial aspects of divorce. They provide expertise in areas such as asset division, tax implications, and your long-term financial picture. While a CDFA is not a replacement for a divorce lawyer, they work hand-in-hand to ensure that your financial interests are protected during the divorce process. If you're considering divorce or in the midst of one, it's important to consult with a CDFA to gain clarity and make informed decisions about your financial future. Have any questions or thoughts on this topic? Comment below and let's start a conversation.

Start managing shared expenses with your co-parent easily!

Onward Staff