Planning for the future is an essential part of every divorce. Separating or divorcing couples often face major transformations in their financial circumstances. The bottom line is that two households must survive on the same dollars that formerly supported one.
Although divorce financial planning does not involve securities transactions or investment advice, Divorce Financial Planners integrate many of the methodologies of traditional financial planning into the divorce process.
Since settlements are in large part financial, Divorce Financial Planners can explain your options, help you set priorities, and lead you through the hard choices ahead.
Often, the financial data on which divorce outcomes are based is unreliable. This leads to future problems for one or both parties. Accurate financial information helps the parties achieve workable settlements quicker and accept realistic lifestyle changes when necessary. This is an important role of the Divorce Financial Planner and often results in better outcomes.
The Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) professional association.
Members of the ADFP include Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA™), Certified Financial Divorce Specialists (CFDS), Financial Divorce Specialists (FDS) and collaborative divorce financial specialists. The Association of Divorce Financial Planners is an independent organization and is not aligned with, nor does it promote these individual entities or designations.
An interdisciplinary association, Associate Membership is open to attorneys, mediators, accountants, mental health professionals, actuaries and other allied divorce professionals with a professional interest in divorce financial planning.
Practitioner Members research and analyze personal, business and tax issues related to divorce. We help individuals, couples, matrimonial attorneys and divorce mediators achieve fair and workable settlements.
ADFP Members are required to meet specific educational, professional, licensing and compliance standards. Our practitioner Members have licenses or designations that are periodically monitored by a governmental agency or other recognized professional entity. We aim for a high level of excellence and our members agree to abide by the CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct.
Agreement to adhere to ADFP Professional Protocols and Standards is a requirement of membership but should not be construed as a basis for any legal liability of the ADFP to third parties. It is strictly a condition for membership. The ADFP does not endorse, support or recommend specific members. It is your responsibility to carefully research, interview and identify competent and trustworthy professionals before you hire one.
The ADFP does not perform divorce financial planning services or take responsibility for divorce financial planning or other services offered by individual members. All ADFP members are independent practitioners and the ADFP does not validate member credentials. You should verify credentials with the appropriate granting authorities, including but not limited to public, private, and state licensing boards.
For additional information about the Association of Divorce Financial Planners or divorce financial planning or for help locating a divorce financial planning practitioner in your area, call 888-838-7773 or write to ADFP@DivorceAndFinance.org.
Divorce Financial Planning is a process, not a product.
The divorce financial planning process encompasses the time a divorce or separation is first contemplated through the time a final outcome that includes such post-divorce events as asset transfers and changes of beneficiaries is reached. During the divorce financial planning process, financial issues associated with divorce are identified and analyzed.
Divorce financial planning provides insights into financial issues associated with divorce or separation, helping parties arrive at knowledge-based outcomes. It is informational in nature and should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce and tax laws in their own geographical areas.
Divorce financial planning is a fee-only process. It does not involve investment advice or securities transactions. It is a process that focuses on a specific life transition. Divorce financial planning focuses on financial issues associated with divorce in both short- and long-term contexts. It involves the gathering, summarizing, and analysis of current and historical data and may include economic forecasting/financial modeling. Long-term post-divorce financial planning is not part of the divorce financial planning process and requires a separate engagement.
Traditional financial planning can take place prior to or subsequent to divorce financial planning. If traditional financial planning and elements of divorce financial planning are practiced in conjunction with one another, the resulting process falls outside the definition of divorce financial planning and into the realm of traditional financial planning.
The divorce financial planning process may include, but is not limited to, some or all of the following steps. These steps are:
To learn about the benefits of divorce financial planning, go to How You Benefit.
The universe of activities engaged in by a divorce financial planning practitioner is diverse, and a Divorce Financial Planner may perform all or some of the following services in a divorce financial planning engagement. Services may include, but are not limited to:
Based on the above definition of the divorce financial planning process, the following are examples of services that fall outside the realm of divorce financial planning. The ADFP does not preclude members from providing such services, should members have expertise in these areas. However, it does require that services falling outside the realm of divorce financial planning not be identified as divorce financial planning services in a divorce financial planning engagement. Services such as these must be governed by separate and completely independent contracts:
Divorce financial planning can take place in a variety of settings. The Divorce Financial Planner can function as an unbiased (neutral) consultant or resource for both parties in a divorce or separation or in a financial advisory capacity to only one of the parties. The Divorce Financial Planner can function as an outside expert or as a member of a team.
The Divorce Financial Planner can provide divorce financial planning services in collaborative divorce, mediation, litigation and pro se (pro per) settings, in all of their respective models and variations.