CDFA – Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Separating or divorcing couples usually face a major transformation in their financial circumstances.  At least in the short term, two households will have to survive on the income and resources that formerly supported one.  Short-term arrangements and planning for the future should be a part of every divorce.

CDFA certified divorce financial analyst moneyThe majority of a divorce settlement is usually financial.  The court requires that you divide your assets and debts and address spousal and child support. This can be daunting for many people because in addition to the emotional turmoil, one or more of the following are often lacking:

  • familiarity with the family finances;
  • understanding of particular assets and debts;
  • trust that current financial resources are bring accurately represented;
  • understanding of options for spousal support, child support, and division of assets and debts;
  • understanding of the basic relevant law;
  • understanding of tax implications;
  • ability to take a realistic, long-term view.

As a CDFA, I can help you address any and all of these possible deficits.  As a result, you can be much more confident you will not miss something important or be taken advantage of financially.

I am able to provide this service for one or both spouses in a divorce.  When I provide this service for both spouses, it is normally in the context of the mediation process.


Here are some potential benefits from including a CDFA in your divorce process where appropriate:

  • clear understanding of your current and future financial picture;
  • better focus on reaching a fair and workable settlement;
  • ability to negotiate more effectively;
  • faster and more equitable resolution of the financial matters;
  • maximum preservation of your marital assets;
  • minimized taxes;
  • reduced legal fees.

These are some of the things I can help you do to clarify your current financial situation:

  • identify, collect and organize the relevant financial information;
  • list, understand and value each of your assets and debts;
  • clarify marital vs. separate property;
  • compare expenses to income, assess needs and/or prepare a budget.

Then during the settlement negotiations as a CDFA I can help you:

  • estimate ongoing support needs.
  • compare and contrast settlement proposals, both before and after tax.
  • develop alternate settlement proposals.
  • analyze short-term and long-term cash flow and net worth for both parties.

CDFA Certification and Services

CDFA certified divorce financial analystThe CDFA certification is obtained through training and examination by the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts.

Most individuals and couples that I assist as a CDFA are from the southern and central Orange County communities of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Tustin.  I’ve found that one meeting is often all that’s required.  Other times an initial meeting can often be followed productively by Zoom sessions and/or email.  There is less need for face-to-face contact than with mediation – which also makes it easier for me to provide CDFA services throughout the metropolitan Los Angeles area.