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People in Washington understand that divorces are often linked to finances. Fights over money are one of the most common causes of divorce filings, which makes sense. There are few things as important in life as being able to support oneself and have some control over one’s money. Certified divorce financial analysts, or CDFAs, make sure that people are able to do just that after a divorce.

Sometimes, the partners in a marriage earn about the same amount of money. At other times, there’s a very unequal distribution of resources. Perhaps one spouse is staying home with the children while the other one is supporting them financially. In situations where there’s inequality, the spouse who earns less may be referred to as the “out spouse.”

It can be a great idea for men and women in the “out spouse” situation to retain a CDFA. Certified divorce financial analysts represent an additional cost up front, but they help their clients to be more financially stable and successful in the long run.

A CDFA analyzes their client’s expenses and resources. They help determine what the client should seek in a settlement. They also help their client learn how to manage the money received in a settlement. For example, CDFAs can help people plan for college expenses, retirement and other big purchases.

Candidates for the CDFA designation must take an exam and fulfill other requirements. It’s a good idea to look for a CDFA who operates as a fiduciary, meaning they put their client’s financial interests ahead of their own. CDFAs who meet that requirement may be a great asset to anyone going through a difficult divorce. A family law attorney may be able to recommend a professional CDFA for their client.