We are proud to announce Donna Richardson’s new designation as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA).

The role of the CDFA® is to help both client and lawyer understand how the financial decisions made today will impact the client’s financial future, based on certain assumptions.

A CDFA® is someone who comes from a financial planning, accounting or legal background and goes through an intensive training program to become skilled in analyzing and providing expertise related to the financial issues of divorce. The CDFA®:

  • Becomes part of the divorce team, providing litigation support for the lawyer and client, or becomes a member of a Collaborative Law team.  In either event, the CDFA® will be responsible for:
  • Identifying the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
  • Integrating tax issues.
  • Analyzing pension and retirement plan issues.
  • Determining if the client can afford the matrimonial  home – and if not, what might be an affordable alternative.
  • Evaluating the client’s insurance needs.
  • Establishing assumptions for projecting inflation and rates of return.
  • Bringing an innovative and creative approach to settling cases.

The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® also:

  • Provides the client and lawyer with data that shows the financial effect of any given divorce settlement.
  • Appears as an expert witness if the case should go to court, or in mediation or arbitration proceedings.
  • Is familiar with tax issues that apply to divorce.
  • Has background knowledge of the legal issues in divorce.
  • Is trained to interview clients so as to:
  • Collect financial and expense data.
  • Help client’s identify their future financial goals.
  • Develop a budget.
  • Set retirement objectives.
  • Determine how much risk they are willing to take with their investments.
  • Identify what kind of life style they want.
  • Determine the costs of their children’s education.