Most divorces are easier than you might think. The reality is that most households have limited assets, and a divorce can be as easy as splitting the joint bank account. On the other hand, if you have been married a long time or have significant assets, divorce is going to be a lot harder. You may find yourself wondering, how do I find a certified divorce financial analyst near me?
What is a certified divorce financial analyst?
According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, a certified divorce financial analyst is somewhat of a mix between a financial planner and an accountant.
A financial advisor is always focused on the future and helping a client achieve their goals. They look at a client’s assets and liabilities and advise the client on what actions they need to take. Financial planners help clients factor in issues like income, expenses, inflation rates, interest, and return on investments.
Accountants, on the other hand, help their clients understand their present financial status. They are typically called on for more complicated situations, such as helping a business understand its value after accounting for things earnings, expenses, equipment costs, and goodwill. In a divorce context they might help uncover hidden assets to figure out a couple’s true net worth.
A certified divorce financial analyst will help with both these functions. A couple needs a good accounting of their net worth, and how much of that value is jointly owned by the couple and what belongs to one spouse separately. Then, looking forward, each spouse needs to consider how the type of assets they are left with at divorce will affect their financial future.
Why would you need a divorce financial analyst?
Divorcing couples often fail to recognize the drastic financial differences that can occur if they do not split up assets carefully. Perhaps the biggest issue is taxes. For example, one spouse might have a large Roth IRA in their name and the other might have a similar size regular 401k. Without a good certified divorce financial analyst, a couple might decide to simply each take their own similar size account.
That would not be an even split at all, however, because the money in the Roth IRA has already been taxed and will have a far higher spending power than the pre-tax 401k account. A good certified divorce financial analyst can run projections to show how different scenarios will impact each spouse. That way a couple can have good information to use in negotiations or in their court dispute. It can help a divorcing spouse avoid a simple mistake that can be very costly down the road.
Certified divorce financial analyst fees
Divorce financial analysts can set you back a pretty penny. Many charge hourly rates, which can range from around a hundred dollars to up to five hundred. This is usually a lot less than a lawyer, though, so it can make a lot of sense to pay a certified divorce financial analyst to do some of the number crunching that a lawyer might otherwise try to do for you.