What is a 'Certified Financial Divorce Practitioner - CFDP'

A Certified Divorce Financial Practitioner (CDFP) uses their knowledge of tax law, asset distribution and short- and long-term financial planning to achieve equitable divorce settlements. The best-case scenario for two people divorcing is that it’s amicable and both parties agree on the division of assets. In this case, you might only need a neutral mediator just to help with paperwork. Some divorces that don’t involve property, retirement accounts, children or large sums of money might even be completed by following a few simple steps online.

BREAKING DOWN 'Certified Financial Divorce Practitioner - CFDP'

However, divorce after many years of marriage with two conflicted people almost always requires the hiring of two attorneys — one to represent both parties. Unfortunately, court dates, attorney meetings and negotiations all add up to time, and time means a whole lot of money to attorneys. Hiring yet another professional may not be ideal. However, some situations call for a Certified Divorce Financial Practitioner (CDFP). While this person cannot provide legal advice, unless, of course, he or she has a license — a CDFP can provide in-depth financial analysis and advice to the attorneys and divorcees relating to the divorce.

Information provided by the clients and attorneys is used to analyze proposals for the division of assets, alimony, custody, child support, etc. CDFPs can then project the financial impact of a proposal in the short and long-term, and formulate different options that may leave both parties in better positions post-marriage. They can even give absolute values to assets that may be under or overestimated.

To become a CFDP, a candidate must complete the training offered by the Academy of Financial Divorce Practitioners. Training involves undergoing a 10-week program or completing a self-study materials package. Both methods of training are concluded with an examination, which must be passed before the designation is awarded.

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