Currently, 50% of marriages end in divorce, yet it remains a taboo topic in our society. So many people go through divorce, yet they don’t feel like they should talk about it or reach out for help. They may feel like they are “damaged” or “failures” and that is NOT OK. I’m on a mission to break through that stigma by informing, educating and empowering women that are faced with divorce. One client, workshop, interview, and article at a time I’m sharing with the world the best kept secret of divorce. It’s been an exciting journey, and I’ve met some amazing women that share the same passion as I do along the way. It’s time to break through the stigma. It’s time to talk about your feelings and fears and have a divorce team to meet all your needs. You are worth it. You deserve it.
Let’s talk traditional divorce. Most of society uses a mediator and/or attorney to get divorced. Mediators are by definition “a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between”. Mediators must remain neutral, no taking sides, no advocating. A divorce attorney is “an attorney that specializes in family law and has experience in issues of divorce, child custody and visitation”. Divorce is usually the biggest financial transaction of someone’s life and the most emotionally charged time, other than the death of a family member. Who’s giving you advice on the finances or helping you through your grief?
Fact – “100% of divorces involve financial settlements”, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. Here’s the problem – mediators and attorneys are not licensed to give you advice on insurance, investments, pensions, retirement income, paying down debt… the list goes on. Yet your divorce involves all these! Who then is educated, trained and licensed to advise on finances and divorce? There is a profession for this, the best kept secret of divorce, Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA®).
Throughout my years as a Financial Planner, I continued to see women frustrated by their divorce agreements, and quickly going into debt after the divorce ended. It didn’t matter if they had a mediator or if they had the “best attorney in town, a real shark in the court room”. They were not getting educated on what was happening and why, not offered choices that were best for them as individuals and many did not feel confident or supported. They were frustrated, upset and worried about their future and their children’s future. As a Financial Planner I knew that many of the rules, penalties and tax laws change when a divorce is happening, but I wasn’t a specialist. So, I earned my accreditation as CDFA®. Afterwards, I took it a step further and founded Supportive Divorce Solutions, Inc..
I strongly believe in a team approach. For example, when you buy a home, probably the second biggest financial decision of your life to divorce, you have a team. You have a realtor, lender, home inspector, attorney and insurance agent. Five people for buying a home! At the very least I recommend that your divorce team consist of a CDFA®, attorney, possibly a mediator and a mental health counselor. There are so many other professionals out there that may be needed – but a good divorce team should be able to introduce you to trustworthy professionals to join your team.
As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, I advocate for, educate and empower women to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their children. I consult on investments, pensions and life and health insurance. I project scenarios that meet my client’s needs that are easy to understand so my clients can see the long-term effects of a proposed divorce settlement. I illustrate creative solutions for child support and spousal support when a client is worried about an ex-spouse not paying in the future. I am an advocate for my client’s financial stability and security now and in the future.
Want to know more about CDFA®’s? We are governed by The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. You can find a CDFA® for your divorce team on their website. Here are some tips on how to pick the right CDFA® for your team:
- Ask them how many clients they have worked with and how many cases they take on a year. A solid CDFA® will spend 50% or more of their time working on divorce cases.
- Interview different CDFA®’s! You want to feel comfortable talking with them and spilling all the beans; this is a vulnerable time.
- The right CDFA® will empower you, guide you and listen to your needs and wants. I personally get no greater satisfaction than watching my clients grow and transform, it’s beautiful.
You are worthy of happiness and deserve a team a team that will support you through your divorce.