Financial Planning During a Divorce


About the Author

kathy costas

true Kathy Costas, CDFA®

Vice President
Westlake Village, California


  • Information presented is general in nature and should not be viewed as a comprehensive analysis of the topics discussed. Content does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice, nor is it intended to supplement professional individualized advice.
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My role as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) goes beyond the first steps of your divorce proceedings. Both parties in a divorce have their own needs and goals, and while no resolution can make everyone involved perfectly happy, a CDFA® like myself will help you to tackle the many financial decisions you have to make to reach a fair and equitable settlement.

Additionally, a CDFA® can frequently help you find additional professionals to help you through this tough process. For example: I’m fortunate to be part of two separate groups of specialists that help connect me with professionals who are focused on different aspects of divorce financial planning, including mortgage specialists, health insurance experts, and estate planning attorneys For example, let’s say you have lost your health coverage because you were on your former spouse’s plan – I can reach out to my network and connect you with a health insurance expert who will help to find you an affordable alternative.

Getting through a divorce successfully requires a team effort, and having been through this process many times before with my clients, I can bring on board the right personnel to help get you to the finish line.

How a CDFA® Can Help You During Your Divorce Proceeding

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re going through a divorce. It’s important to remember that a divorce is not just about how property and other assets are divided up at the time of the split, but it’s also about what comes next. Can you as an individual take on the fiscal responsibility and handle the tax implications of your now wholly-owned property?

A common example is that one spouse will want the house, but do you have the income necessary to qualify for a mortgage? Can you handle the home insurance and tax burden on your own? For many people, their desire to keep the home they’ve built a life in can lead to a financial strain they’re unprepared for.

In my role as CDFA®, I can help find solutions in instances like these when negotiations hit an impasse. Take spousal support, for example. If my client is receiving support, I might also advise them to be kept on as the beneficiary of their ex-spouse's life insurance. Doing so ensures that my client will have a source of funds to live on even when the “lifetime” spousal support ends due to their former partner’s eventual death. Most separating couples aren’t thinking that far down the road, but my job is to make sure you have a sound financial plan and cash-flow distribution model that covers you for as long as you’ll need it.

A CDFA® Works Alongside Other Professionals to Help You

As I mentioned in the introduction, it’s typical for your CDFA® to have connections that can help you establish yourself while you are going through the divorce. The majority of my time is generally spent with my clients’ attorneys and tax advisors, but my proverbial rolodex includes insurance professionals, estate planners on the EP Wealth team, and even counselors to help with the emotional toll of things. My responsibility – and my privilege - is to help you through it and move into the new phase of your life as smoothly and worry-free as possible.

To learn more about what a CDFA® like me can do to help you before, during, and after divorce, review our Life Transition Financial Planning services and schedule an appointment to talk to an EP Wealth Advisor.



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