This is a guest blog from Kelly Greene, Office Manager at Smarter Divorce Solutions.
Like many of you, I was somewhat thrust into my decision to divorce, ok so there were red flags for YEARS that I ignored, but that’s a different article. Anyway, once the decision was made I tried working through my haze and doing some research on my options. Little did I know there were quite a few. In my research I ran across something called a Certified Divorced Financial Analyst (CDFA). I also noticed the one in my area was offering a free consultation at the local women’s center. I decided to make an appointment.
The next week I showed up with a random stack of financial papers I had grabbed off my husband’s desk in my hand and my emotions on my sleeve. I spent my free consultation time telling my story. I, like many others I have met since, sat back and let my spouse handle all the financials. This is not limited to only women, I have since met many men who are clueless to the household financial goings on. Regardless, I was scared, distraught and completely clueless. My ex and I owned a business, a house, 3 cars and a RV. We had bills and loans and debt. Oh the debt.
Based on my research and my conversation with the CDFA, I decided to go with a Mediator and just use the CDFA for help with the business aspect. Looking back I wish I had used the CDFA component for EVERYTHING. I was in such a hurry to “be done” with the divorce and just get it over with that I didn’t want to look at the future. I was too consumed discovering the amount of debt we were in. I had no idea what had been going on behind a closed checkbook. I had read too many times how many women end up bankrupt after divorce. Even though I have a Master’s Degree, I had little true work experience. I had spent my formative “career” years staying at home with my kids and working part time for “play money”. I was scared.
My CDFA helped divvy up the business in a way we could both feel best about. She presented all the information in a way I could understand and she had a knack for working around my husband’s ego. I considered hiring her for the rest of the divorce but at the time it was a struggle to get my husband to agree, let alone pay for anything.
Looking back I should have DEMANDED it. It’s been two years since my divorce and each day tends to bring about a new surprise with my finances. I have regrets for sure. If I could go back and redo it I would have had my CDFA by my side the entire time. Lucky for me I now work for my CDFA. I feel grateful and blessed to have this job and to be able to help our clients not go through what I did. When we have a potential client on the fence about whether or not they need to utilize our services I am more than happy to share my story.
Even if you feel you are financially savvy, you are dealing with emotions and stress. There are things you may miss, items you don’t realize until it’s too late. So my advice, like I tell our clients, “It takes a village to get divorced”. I urge you to consider making a CDFA a part of your team!
Are you interested in learning more about how a CDFA can help you gain clarity around your financials during divorce? If so, please contact our team for a complimentary consulation for you and your family.