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How To Assemble Your Divorce Team

May 25, 2021

In a traditional divorce there are four parties: the divorcing spouses are one and two respectively and their attorneys make four. Nowadays, it may take a village if you want to cover your financial, emotional and property related bases. When you think about your divorce, only a portion of the divorce is legal (because it is a legal process), the majority of your divorce is centered around finances, parental responsibilities and communication.

Divorces have evolved to take into account that divorce attorneys, experts in the law, are not financial experts. Rather, a new specialization, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or CDFA, is held by financial professionals who can assist with your divorce. 

Divorce is emotionally daunting and while you may be aware of individual and family counseling, do you know how a divorce coach works and why you might need them and a therapist?

When a couple divorces, the most valuable asset is usually their home. There is often a rush to sell it to be able to finance the purchase of separate homes. But not so fast. You need a realtor who understands the legal and tax aspects of the divorce process as it relates to real estate - someone with CREDS after their name. And, remember it is important to know how much of a home you can afford after divorce and what your cash flow will look like, so that selling and buying homes at the time of divorce will not end up being a costly mistake.

But before you start calling CREDS realtors, you’ll want to enlist the help of a Certified Financial Divorce Analyst, CDFA,and a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, CDLP, who can make sure your mortgage choice aligns with your long and short-term financial and investment goals, minimizes taxes, interest and maximizes cash flow.

That’s why in this blog, we’ll explain how you can build your divorce team. We’ll introduce you to divorce professionals with the experience and training to best help you during this taxiing time. 

In reality, to avoid costly post-divorce conflicts, you only have one chance at getting your divorce done right!   Surrounding yourself with the right team of professionals to assist with your divorce is a MUST. The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado believes that having different advisors on your team will enable you to get the best possible outcome. 

  1. Certified Divorce Financial Advisor

There are three areas where CDFAs differ from other financial professionals: 1) Financial and tax expertise and strategy 2) Data Collection, Organization and Analysis, 3) Settlement Consultant, and 3) Ability to act as an expert witness if needed in court. 

  1. Financial and Tax Expertise and Strategy:

 CDFAs:

  • Understand the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
  • Analyze pensions and retirement plans.
  • Determine if the client can afford the marital home, and if not, what they can afford.
  • Recognize the tax consequences of different settlement proposals.
  1. Data Collection and Analysis: 

CDFAs:

  • Collect financial and expense data.
  • Help clients identify their future financial goals.
  • Develop a realistic forward-looking spending plan.
  • Set retirement objectives.
  • Determine how much risk they are willing to take with their investments.
  • Identify what their post divorce lifestyle will cost

Finally, a CDFA can be called on to act as an expert witness if your divorce goes to court. 

Source: CDFA page

2) Divorce Coaches

A divorce coach is a confidential, thinking partner. Their process begins where you are and enables you to create your path forward.  They will guide you through the steps of divorce and unlike a therapist, a divorce coach is concerned about the practical to-dos of your divorce and making sure they’re done. Some divorce coaches have specializations based on their experience. The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado’s divorce coach, Suzanne Chambers-Yates, specializes in high conflict divorces and narcissists.  Her background is in mediation and mental health. 

While a relationship with a therapist or a divorce coach is predicated on trust and confidence, they help in different ways. Therapy focuses on the past, your family of origin and how you got to where you are. Coaching is future focused - where are you now and where you need to get to, or gaining clarity on where you are going. It is an action and goal oriented process. A divorce coach will help you manage the overwhelm. 

  1. Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist

A realtor with this designation will have CREDS after their name. They are trained in the legal and tax aspects of the divorce process as it relates to real estate. They learn obscure legal rulings, regulations and tax implications. This specific training allows them to help their divorcing clients take advantage of tax laws that are specific to selling a house in the divorce. Source

Other initials that indicate divorce related expertise: 

  • Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE)
  • Real Estate Collaboration Specialist-Divorce (RCS-D)

Rather than one spouse engaging with a realtor, a realtor who is specialized in divorce works with both parties as a neutral advisor. CREDS, et. al realtors have completed courses on how to manage differing emotional states and high-tension situations and they act in a way to encourage both parties' opinions are considered.

  1. Certified Divorce Lending Professional

A CDLP™ uses their knowledge and expertise to help the divorcing homeowner make a more informed decision regarding their home equity solutions and mortgage financing choices. A CDLP understands the connection between Divorce and Family Law, IRS Tax Rules, and mortgage financing strategies as it pertains to real estate and mortgage financing in a divorce situation. Source

At the Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado, each member of our team is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. One of our team members is a Certified Divorce Coach, and two members of our team are divorce mediators. We work with CREDS certified realtors and mortgage lending professionals who have obtained the CDLP designation.

Consolidating your mediator, CDFA and divorce coach means you are getting more for your time and money and minimizes the number of professionals you’ll need to interview, and enabling you the best outcomes for your divorce, while preserving your assets and sanity! To see if our team is a good fit for your divorce needs, schedule a no strings attached 20 minute call with a member of our team today!

ABOUT
At Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado, we have a team of seasoned Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) who provide a cost-effective, respectful mediation process that allows couples and families to rebuild a secure post-divorce future.
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