I am asked this question a lot. I have even received hate mail regarding my certified divorce financial analyst practice and to top it off I have even been accused of being Pro Divorce!
In early October, 2010, I came across an article about a financial planner in Toronto with the CDFA designation and I read what she had to say and it made total sense. (As Oprah would say an AH moment). I did some research and enrolled in the CDFA program in 2011 and completed the certification in November of the same year. I had up too two years to complete it but what can I say I became very passionate about getting the certification so that I could start helping clients that were going through divorce.
Previously to me finding the article I kept meeting women who believed that they were not given the correct financial information regarding their own divorce. At that time I could only empathizes with them and offer financial advice on their present situation. I also did some research and found that for a lot of women surviving and thriving after divorce was not one in the same. In fact 41% of women in Canada over the age of 65 are at or below poverty. Of that group over 80% are divorced or separated and widowed.
So why do so many women at the age of 65 find themselves in this predicament? Well it is believed that women who find themselves going through divorce will take over a 30% decrease in economic status after divorce and never recover while men take a 10% decrease in economic status and recover after 5 years.
So to fully answer the question why did I become a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)? Because I know I can make a difference. I truly believe that what I offer as a CDFA is something that is missing in the divorce process. I am not a lawyer. I cannot and will not give legal advice however there is a lot that is involved with a separation and divorce that do not strictly fall under the legal guidelines. Let’s face it the two topics that create the most stress and fighting around are money and children. I cannot help you with the children but I can help you on the financial side of a divorce.
If you are in the process of dissolving a marriage, you are painfully aware of the added stress divorce places on everyone involved. I have been in your shoes and I went through a divorce in 2003 and like you it was a personal tragedy that was emotionally devastating. I wish I had consulted with someone who was a CDFA back in 2003 because I think I would have made some different financial choices. I was not in the Financial Industry at that time I was in the Automotive Industry and truthfully I felt embarrassed and had a hard time admitting that my marriage was over.
If you are feeling anxiety and an overwhelming sense of financial insecurity, you are not alone. The financial side of divorce can be very complicated from trying to understand budgets to understanding how to read your and/ or your spouse’s pension statement to who is paying the mortgage. If you feel you lack a firm understanding of the financial aspects of divorce, you may benefit from the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.