There are many designations for a financial expert, including: financial planner, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), accountant, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®).
The role of the financial planner, CFP®, or ChFC® is to help people achieve their financial goals regardless of whether they are divorcing or happily married.
An accountant typically looks at the details of the scenario as it is today and makes no future projections. In a divorce, an accountant is hired to calculate the tax effect of dividing property and the effect of spousal and child support for one or two years. They typically do not project further into the future.
To best meet the needs of divorcing clients, you need a blend of these two ideologies; the CDFA® designation was created to fill this need. The role of the CDFA® professional is to assist the client and his/her attorney to understand how the financial decisions he/she makes today will impact the client’s financial future based on certain assumptions.
A CDFA professional is someone who comes from a financial planning, accounting, or legal background and goes through an intensive training program to become skilled at analyzing and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce.