By Kristyn Carmichael, Esq. CDFA
Finances during a divorce can become a very embattled conversation. Whether you are considering a divorce or are already in the middle of the process, most of my clients would say there are two typical categories of concerns that are their primary focus:
- The immediate future, including who keeps the house and their children will live; and
- The emotional rollercoaster of the process, from anger and sorrow to joy and relief.
It’s normal to focus on these areas. Each are an integral piece of the divorce experience. However, I have found in almost every case, that there is a lack of focus on finances during a divorce. In particular, there is not a clear view of the future. The financial decisions during your divorce impact your ability to support your family and yourself. It also affects your ability to have the future of your dreams.
What is a Divorce Financial Coach or CDFA?
A CDFA or Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is an individual with experience in family law and finance, who is certified to assist you with your finances during your divorce. Often a CDFA will help you determine equitable divorce settlement options, including the division of your assets and debts, as well as support.
As a Divorce Financial Coach and CDFA, I take the process a step further by helping you understand your finances during your divorce, with a focus on the future and building financial confidence. I tailor my services depending on where you are within the divorce process (considering divorce, in the middle of a divorce, or concluding your divorce) and your financial knowledge. We work together to understand your goals for the future, anchoring in how your decisions during your divorce will impact those goals. Instead of focussing solely on the divorce negotiations, you will also learn skills that allow you to continue your financial growth post-divorce.
A Divorce Financial Coach Can Help with the Finances During a Divorce
Based on your needs, a Divorce Financial Coach helps you:
- Understand your divorce process options and refers you to divorce professionals. These professionals will respect your goals and decision making in the divorce process
- Complete all financial disclosures and determine what information you should request of your spouse
- Work with you to determine your future goals and create negotiation options for your finances based on those goals
- Better understand your personal finances and what options are available to you, with a focus on creativity to meet your interests
- Create a budget that allows you to care for your family while moving towards your future
- Establish effective cost-sharing strategies for you and your co-parent to handle your children’s expenses
The goal for each of my clients is to negotiate a successful and equitable split of their finances during their divorce. At the same time, while building a skillset and confidence in their finances that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Do I need a Divorce Financial Coach?
When considering if a Divorce Financial Coach is right for you, some helpful questions to ask yourself are:
- Did I handle the finances during our marriage? If yes, do I feel confident that I understand each asset or debt. How it is divided during a divorce?
- Do I have a budget for myself (and my family) that considers the change to my financial picture after my divorce?
- Have I created a negotiation plan for what I want during my divorce, including my finances? If so, does this plan only reflect a short-term view or a view toward my future goals?
- Do I know how to prepare my financial disclosures and feel confident requesting disclosures from my spouse?
If you find yourself answering “no” to many of these questions or not feeling confident in your answer, please know you aren’t alone. I began my work as a Divorce Financial Coach after years as a divorce mediator. I found that at least one spouse was feeling powerless or lost in financial discussions during their divorce. I’m here to help you feel confident in your finances and take back your power to dictate your own future.
How can I work with you?
I provide financial coaching services for women during their divorce, regardless of where you are in your divorce process. Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss what you need and how I can help you during this time. Divorce does not need to be a fearful or powerless process. I want to support you in finding confidence and strength during and after your divorce. It can be a powerful combination to work with a financial coach while you are going through divorce mediation.
Want more educational tips about your finances during divorce? Check out @ms.confinance on Instagram and Tik Tok.