Are you preparing for a divorce and wondering what it costs to work with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®)? A CDFA® typically works on an hourly basis, although some may provide a flat fee for a specified number of hours. When you work with a CDFA®, the hourly cost usually ranges from $250 an hour to $400 an hour depending on experience and complexity of the case involved.
CDFAs® can be thought of as your divorce financial advisor. Having such a professional as part of your divorce team can be extremely valuable when going through a divorce. You’ll find that when you work with a CDFA®, their value far outweighs their cost. We are always trying to save our clients time and money, and being CDFAs® ourselves, we know the education and training that one goes through to become a CDFA®. We also understand the details that can be explored on a deeper level when you have a CDFA® involved in your case.
Work with a CDFA® Trained Mediator
As your mediator, we can only wear one hat (as the saying goes). So, we cannot act as your mediator and your CDFA® in the same case. When we are acting as your mediator, we have a very specific set of tasks that we are responsible for and to be an effective mediator, we need to focus on those tasks. The benefit, however, of having your mediator also trained as a CDFA®, is that we do have the knowledge and the wherewithal to understand when there is a case that can really benefit from having a CDFA® involved. Not every case needs the additional deep dive by a CDFA®. However, when there is a need, you can be sure that we will let you know and we will put you in touch with the best of the best, to provide clarity and options on a level your mediator cannot always go. More will be explored as to why it is important to have your mediator also be a CDFA® in this blog.
Financials During the Divorce Process
When you work with a CDFA®, they’re trained to review financial documents on a very detailed level. She or he will explore all potential avenues of cash flow, investments, assets, and debts. Additionally, a CDFA® can be of great use to help our clients prepare their Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures (PDOD). The PDODs are a required part of the divorce process in California. A divorce cannot be finalized if there has not been a full and complete disclosure of all assets and debts. This includes providing statements for all the balances provided in the documents. Moreover, this requires our clients to provide a complete monthly budget as well.
As surprising as it may be (or not), most, if not all, of our clients do not have a budget or even much of an idea regarding the amount they spend monthly. It is extremely difficult to determine whether a monthly support number will be adequate if the individual being supported has no idea how much they need to cover their necessities and lifestyle monthly. While your mediator can help with these items as well, your mediator is typically going to have a higher hourly rate, and therefore, it is financially prudent to work with a CDFA® to keep costs down and also to provide another set of eyes on the macro and micro level of the agreements.
Marital Standard of Living Analysis
Another great service that a CDFA® can offer is the marital standard of living analysis. This is an overall analysis on how much the community spent throughout the marriage to support their lifestyle. Having this information helps us in the mediation to determine what is fair and reasonable for support. Considering spousal support specifically is one of the most litigated issues in a divorce, the more information we have available to help us arrive at an agreeable number; increases everyone’s comfort level with the chosen amount.
When you work with a CDFA® for your divorce, you can better understand how to divide the assets and debts that you have and what might be community versus separate property. Speak with one of our mediators today!
by: Jennifer Segura