The divorce process can be a very complex area of law. There are several financial issues that may overlap with your divorce; bankruptcy, financial planning, self-employment income, etc. It is unlikely to find a professional that is well-versed in every area that may need resolution in your divorce. Read on for the benefits of your mediator having their CDFA® license
What to Look for in a Mediator
A mediator should be well-versed in conflict resolution. However, with a CDFA® license, a mediator that understands the law and has legal training, as well as, understanding financial issues and financial training can be a great asset on your divorce team. With a legal and financial background, your mediator can understand the issues at hand and have meaningful conversations about them. A mediator who is also trained as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) is aware of when the issues are too complex for the mediator to handle in a neutral manner. This is when your mediator may suggest you enlist the help of a separate CDFA® to join the team.
Set the Bar High with CDFA® Mediation
At West Coast Family Mediation Center (WCFMC), all our mediators have their law degrees and either have (or are working on obtaining) their CDFA® designation. As the co-owners and lead mediators of WCFMC, my business partner and I learned early on that many settlements we saw ignored key topics that should have been negotiated in the settlement. Issues including capital gains, tax consequences, self-employment income, etc. The deeper we dove into these topics and how they should be handled, the more we understood how crucial the education behind the designation was to us, our clients, and our business structure. When we opened our practice over 14 years ago, our goal was to be the BEST mediation firm in San Diego, providing a high-quality, fully-encompassing process at a reasonable cost. With so many financial pieces being part of most divorces, we knew we could not be the best without having a solid understanding of how all the financial issues may play out in a divorce.
It’s About Our Clients
We have worked to create a holistic environment where we not only wish to help our clients through their divorce but also, to help them in any other area of their life that we can. Over the years we have integrated workshops (see below) to help our clients learn better self-care rituals, workshops to help children express their feelings while going through this involuntary process, and we only add members to our team who we know live in the empathetic realm. Only those who can pick up the phone hear tears on the other end and have no problem handling that conversation. We understand we are part of a dark time in your life, a time you often feel like everything is falling apart. Because we know this, we work to be the glue that holds you together until we can get you to more stable ground.
By being a mediator with a CDFA® license, I’m confident in our ability to make sure any financial aspect that may be glossed over at other firms, will not be ignored here at WCFMC. As your guide through this journey, we will explore many paths and discuss many options. Having both the legal and the financial background, allows us to have meaningful conversations about both aspects during the brain-storming session of the process.
Having a mediator who is very familiar with the intricacies of divorce on all different levels, allows us to think way outside the box and come up with creative solutions for our clients to consider when the typical “one-sized” options don’t quite fit. With our ever-changing economic landscape (especially here in California, where the cost of living is so high), for many couples, the typical solutions aren’t solutions at all. They can often feel like a barrier to getting a divorce. We have seen many couples who put off separating because they do not feel they can afford to separate. Continuing to live together and function as a married couple when the relationship is clearly over for both parties can prevent emotional and financial growth and create detrimental results.
Having a neutral professional to help you navigate creative solutions can provide the answers you need to move your life forward. As your mediator, we will help you both prioritize what is most important and then work with you to arrive at solutions that work best for your family.
Stay tuned for more information about new workshops beginning in January 2023. Every third Thursday in the month we will offer a new workshop that will help you rebuild and refocus before, during, and after this process.
by: Jennifer Segura