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Why I Developed A Divorce Specialty

Why I Developed A Divorce Specialty

August 24, 2021
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By now you likely know that my typical client is female. Usually, she’s the primary income earner in her household or is single. Often she’s the kind of girl who people admire, she’s a Mentor, she’s entrepreneurial (whether she works in corporate or not), she’s a go-getter, at the top of her game.

2-3 times per year, I’m referred to a woman in the process of a divorce and often she’s lost parts of herself in the marriage. She used to be so on top of things, where all the money was going, what the accounts were doing but she finds that since she got married she’d relinquished control of the finances. She didn't make the investment decisions because she never found the time to do the research. She’s overwhelmed and sometimes a little ashamed of how little she knows about the assets she and her spouse hold and feels like she should have done more to stay in control of the situation.

This is the exact reason I decided to get the CDFA designation. CDFA stands for Divorce Financial Analyst. In my role as a LPL Financial Planner, I often help people set goals and develop a plan toward pursuing them. The plans include things like debt repayment, risk management & some estate planning, charitable giving and, of course, investing for future goals like College & Retirement.

During a divorce, however, there’s an additional set of priorities. Usually clients have questions like:

  • What Assets should I ask for in the divorce?
  • Can I stay in the house?
  • Should I ask for Spousal Support or Child Support? How much?
  • Here’s what he’s offered me, should I take it?
  • How do I build a budget for my post-divorce life?
  • He says this is his income, I know it’s more than this but I’m not sure how to find it or prove it.
  • What property can I keep?
  • Where do I start?

In the beginning, the list of questions is endless. Because I really like to work in areas where I’m uniquely useful, and because empowering women is my joy, I devoted myself to additional study to help people best answer these questions. Here are some things a CDFA professional can do:

  1. Help you develop a Spending Plan (Budget) for your post divorce life
  2. Help you and your family decide the most equitable divorce settlement.
  3. Help you understand potential tax consequences of your divorce settlement.
  4. Create a Financial Affidavit that clearly shows the financials of the household including expenses, assets & liabilities (even the tricky assets like Pensions, Businesses & Real Estate holdings). This document can be certified and used in court if needed.
  5. Testify as an Expert Witness in your divorce case.
  6. Work collaboratively with you Divorce Attorney or Mediator or Collaborative Divorce Team.
  7. Hold your hand (virtually) and support you along the divorce process

If you’re in the Tulsa, OK area, be on the lookout for Second Saturday Divorce Workshops I’ll be hosting starting Fall 2021! You can attend in the South Tulsa/ Bixby area or online. For more about the non-profit organization I’ve teamed up with to bring these workshops to Tulsa, check out their website: https://www.secondsaturday.com/.

If you’d like to learn more about CDFA services for yourself or your client, please reach out to me at: Kristin@HerPlanning.com.

*It’s important to note that I’m not an actuary, Tax Preparer, Business or Real Estate Valuator. I can work with and refer you to professionals who can help with these things as needed. I am credentialed to provide Present Values of Pensions & to discuss tax ramifications of Qualified Plans. 

Second Saturday is not affiliated with HerPlanning and LPL Financial.