By Maura Copsey
For decades, the statistic that “50% of all marriages end in divorce” permeated American society. Today this trend has diminished a bit thanks to various factors, but divorce remains a very common and often complicated event, especially among older couples. For those making the decision to divorce, the financial aspects can be among the most difficult, and even more so for more established and wealthy people. This is why we believe it is wise for wealth management companies to have a Chartered Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) on the team.
A CDFA is a certified finance professional to provide expertise on financial matters related to divorce. Wealth managers can earn the CDFA designation from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts after completing a rigorous curriculum. The CDFA is part of the client’s team of divorce professionals and can provide financial advice ranging from pre-divorce planning to post-divorce financial management. Completing the study required for this certification takes commitment, but the benefits to businesses and their customers can make the business worthwhile.
For your clients, there are two main advantages of having a CDFA on the team. The biggest help for clients is that there is someone who has the specific expertise they need and who is already familiar with them and their financial situation. Divorce can raise financial issues that many other financial professionals don’t often encounter. A CDFA has probably already dealt with these problems successfully and is willing to call on this knowledge for the benefit of another client.
Second, a CDFA will be able to provide professional analysis and recommendations for a variety of financial matters. In a divorce, the client potentially faces many stressful issues, such as homeownership, custody issues, and emotional issues. Having a certified divorce expert on the team helps relieve the stress of financial decisions and allows the client to spend their emotional and mental energy on other issues.
It is not just the clients who benefit from this additional expertise. Most wealth management teams do not operate in a vacuum; there are lawyers and tax specialists who serve your clients, and these paths are likely to cross during divorce. Having a CDFA on your team is a valuable resource for these professionals when their clients are going through a divorce, and they will likely be relieved to know that someone they trust is helping guide their client’s finances in a difficult situation. .
In addition, the benefits to your business can be significant. The most immediate impact is the possibility of expanding customer services. Divorce has the potential to last for months or even years, resulting in business outside of a client’s annual wealth management needs. long term relationship that provides continued income even when the customer is hopefully going through happier times.
Customer relationships are at the heart of any business success. The ability to provide personalized support to our clients during a difficult time, such as a divorce, can help build an even stronger relationship that pays dividends long after the event.
Maura Copsey is CDFA and partner of Nachman Norwood & Parrott.