By Denise French, MAFF, CRPC, CDFA, IAR August 8, 2018

This question stops so many people in their tracks. You know your marriage is no longer working. You want to provide positive and healthy examples for your kids of how to live a good life and get along with your spouse. But you feel trapped. Because you don’t know if you can make it on your own financially if you divorce.

The main thing is to not stop at the unknown. Yes, you don’t know. So, go find out. This is where a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® practitioner, or CDFA®, comes in. We will help you find out if you can make it on your own. And if you can’t, we’ll help put together a rehabilitation plan so that you can get to a point where you can.

I’ve seen this fear in clients from all walks of life; a homemaker that doesn’t feel like she can make enough money to continue living a certain lifestyle, a spouse that in their current job makes a fraction of what their mate makes, a couple where they earn similar amounts, but their finances are tied up in the home and retirement accounts, a primary provider who doesn’t feel like they make enough to also support their non-working spouse indefinitely.

A CDFA® professional will look at your income and assets and be able to craft a settlement that can take each of those scenarios into account. Do you need two years where maintenance is a little more to get training for a better paying job? Would it help with a home purchase to be able to access a portion of your retirement accounts penalty free? Will you still be able to save towards your retirement and future if you are paying maintenance. You can get knowledgeable answers to these questions that take out the guessing and give you a 20 year look at your financial future.

Recently a client was almost paralyzed with fear about not receiving maintenance and being placed in a position where their standard of living would drop dramatically. We were able to look at the marital assets as they existed and assure the client, that even if you just split the assets and received no maintenance, she could maintain a standard of living very close to what they had been experiencing.

Just like therapy, you may need a little coaching or help to figure out how to work a new budget. But you can craft a future with financial goals that will help you make it on your own. The answer is out there. The first step is finding a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional to look at your assets and help you devise a plan to make it possible.