I believe one of the most important roles I have, as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is providing a reality check for my clients before , during and after divorce. I am pragmatic and not judgmental. I take the words in settlement agreements and turn them into numbers. .
Firstly, I do this by having a systematic approach for pulling together the financial numbers and information that they need to start separation discussions whether the are working in mediation, collaboration or traditional negotiations.
Secondly, I’m focused on finding solutions that work in both the short and long term. I create projections based on clients goals and possible settlement options , whether that be proceeds from sale of their house , impact of varies duration and levels of support, impact of future income and savings. These projections educate and show clients the future implications of what is being proposed. They also show the the impact of other decisions clients have control .
I had a client who was the main breadwinner of the family. She went back to school to upgrade her skills when her husband was downsized from his corporate job. She found a very well paying position and has had a number of promotions since starting at her company. Her husband found it difficult to get back into the workforce in his previous role. Discouraged, he started a small consulting practice but wasn’t having much success in getting clients. When they decided to separate, her income was substantially more than his. She was very resentful of having to make Spousal Support payments to her husband. This looked like it was going to stall the settlement negotiations. I worked with her to understand her current & future spending, her future income and have her see the impact of various levels of support. I helped her set priorities going forward. Once she could see into her financial future, she agreed to a spousal support payment schedule she and her spouse could live with as she now felt confident about her own financial future.