The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA™)

Founded in 1993, IDFA provides specialized training to accounting, financial, and legal professionals in the field of pre-divorce financial planning. Over the years, we have certified more than 5,000 professionals in the US and Canada as Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) professionals.

The Institute provides comprehensive training using a variety of knowledge and skill-building techniques. CDFA candidates learn how to help their clients with financial issues that will affect the rest of their lives, including:

  • Personal vs. marital property
  • Valuing and dividing property
  • Retirement assets and pensions
  • Spousal and child support
  • Splitting the house
  • Tax problems and solutions
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Tax law and financial issues affecting divorce

To acquire the designation, a candidate must successfully pass all exams (modules) with a minimum score of 70% for each one and be in good standing with their Broker Dealer (if applicable) and the FINRA/SEC or other licensing or regulatory agency.

About CDFA Professionals

A CDFA professional is a financial professional skilled at analyzing data and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce. The role of the CDFA professional is to assist the client and his or her attorney to understand how the decisions he or she makes today will impact the client’s financial future. A CDFA can take on many roles in the divorce process:

Financial Expertise and Strategy

CDFA professionals provide the client and attorney with data analysis that shows the financial effect of any given settlement. They become part of the divorce team and provide support on financial issues such as:

  • Understanding the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
  • Analyzing pensions and retirement plans.
  • Determining if the client can afford the marital home, and if not, what he or she can afford.
  • Recognizing the tax consequences of different settlement proposals.

Data Collection and Analysis

Much of a CDFA professional’s role is collect the client’s financial data and perform analysis. CDFAs can help manage a client’s expectations of their financial future by presenting different scenarios and talking through the client’s budget and expenses. CDFAs are trained

  • Collect financial and expense data.
  • Help clients 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 lifestyle they want.

Expert Presenter and Litigation Support

In some cases, CDFA professionals are called upon to act as expert witnesses in court or in mediation proceedings.

The content has been republished with permission from The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA™).