Divorce F.A.Q.

Yes.  CFP®s meet the 4 E’s, Education, Examination, Experience & Ethics.  This is an Accredited certification. 

We have worked with divorcing clients since 1990.  Make sure your divorce financial expert works on divorce financial planning cases every week vs. once in a while. Make sure your divorce financial expert is an expert in post-divorce financial planning so that you are not disappointed with the results of someone who only does pre-divorce financial planning.  Someone who only does pre-divorce financial planning may not know enough about personal finance to avoid tax mistakes, account transfer mistakes, and long-term consequences of the pre-divorce only planning.

Yes.  While this is not yet an accredited certification, those of us who hold this certification are specifically trained in pre-divorce financial planning.

If your divorce financial expert is not allowed to charge you for divorce financial planning and is doing so ‘just to help you out’, chances are very good, they simply hope to capture your assets post-divorce.  We charge for our time in divorce financial planning and deliver exceptional work that often pays for itself after we have measured our results.

We speak at a nonprofit, licensed Second Saturday® workshop in Fairfax, VA, each month.  We have a family law attorney and divorce financial expert speak at each workshop.  Support.  Information.  Hope.

Divorce, in addition to being a legal process, is very much a financial process of taking one household and making two. Finding the right professional for your situation is key; you need an attorney to provide legal advice, but you also need a CFP® or CDFA™ to provide financial planning during your divorce.  Your divorce financial professional works separately or in tandem with your attorney – they work with each other, not for each other.  You benefit from this by getting objective guidance.  Your divorce financial professional shows you the financial impact of any potential division and, if needed, can appear as an expert witness in court. DYSNYD can provide expert testimony in court, although DYSNYD prefers to prepare financial testimony that is so compelling the other party must consider whether their arguments are stronger. Therefore, spending time evaluating your financial future is perhaps the most important step in a divorce.

We have a proprietary Triple D© process.

We charge hourly, flat fee (specific written scope of work) or retainer fee, much like attorneys. At DYSNYD, the hourly fee is $400 with a minimum of 1 hour. The average divorce financial analysis takes 10 hours. Yours may not be average.  Clients with more complicated situations or who need testimony preparation may want to go on retainer.  This can all sound like a lot of money – we agree.  We debrief your fee in the context of results achieved.  Transparent, documented numbers used in easy to understand models stand up to intense scrutiny during negotiations.

No. DYSNYD is an advocate for both men and women.  Many of our clients are men who also wish to understand the numbers and not create a financially stressed household post-divorce for either party.  We can even work with a couple to create a fair and equitable financial settlement ready to present to an attorney to finalize the divorce.

As an agnostic financial professional, DYSNYD works with couples to cooperatively problem-solve financial issues. Each party’s interests are taken into consideration, with the ultimate goal being a mutually acceptable settlement.

DYSNYD’s services can be retained to work with one party in the divorce. In this role, DYSNYD works as a problem solver, as well as helping to educate clients on the impact of various settlement options.  We will never participate in intentional financial injury to either party.

DYSNYD has worked on many mediation cases and have teamed up with the client and their attorney as they move through the mediation process to help evaluate options that are generated during mediation.  This is one of our top strengths – solving the issues efficiently, transparently and to the satisfaction of both parties.

Divorce financial planning is not investment advice.  One of the most important things that DYSNYD does during the divorce process is to make sure both can pay their bills post-divorce and have a financial foundation on which to build.  DYSNYD is able to explain things in a straight forward manner, model outcomes and help you gain financial confidence.

Absolutely.  DYSNYD has the experience, skill set and technology needed to evaluate settlement options and provide feedback regarding the impact of the option(s).  How do I know if I am receiving a fair settlement?  In a nutshell, math modeling shows you if you are able to live with the settlement.  DYSNYD can assist you with understanding the financial and tax impact of diverse settlement proposals covering asset distribution, debt assignment and spousal/child support.

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony is a series of payments from one spouse to the other, often for a specified time-frame after a divorce. The purpose of maintenance is to help balance the earning abilities of each spouse so that they maintain a similar standard of living post-divorce.  There are many potential options available including lump sum payments or a larger transfer of assets.

For divorce settlements concluded prior to 12/31/18, it depends on whether you are making or receiving the payment. Spousal support is tax deductible if you are making the payment, as long as it is within IRS guidelines. If you are receiving the payment, it is taxable. For divorce settlements concluded after 12/31/2018, spousal support or alimony is tax-neutral like child support.  It is neither tax-deductible by the payor nor taxable to the recipient.

The answer is yes – but these are post-divorce services under a different contract.  Every client signs a Conflict of Interest statement as part of our divorce financial planning contract. We ask the other spouse to sign a waiver of consent. This ensures fairness to both parties during the divorce process.  We disclose the Conflict of Interest and if you have any trouble understanding it we will patiently explain to your satisfaction.