Navigating the divorce process can be stressful, time-consuming, and complex. We’re here to help you develop your perspective. Learn how much money you need today (and in the future). We’ll help ensure your investments are managed properly. At Hightower Bethesda, we have the tools and knowledge to help ensure this is done right because there are no redo’s once the divorce is finalized.
As both a Certified Financial Divorce Analyst (CDFA®) and a Certified Financial Planner, an advisor like Leah Jones has the know-how and experience to guide you through the divorce planning process. She has more than 15 years of experience in investment management and financial planning.
As the Director of Financial Planning here at Hightower Bethesda, Leah’s developed a background in understanding complexities related to financial planning, with specialties in providing divorce-related financial planning and perspective.
I can work with parties individually, couples who are going through mediation/collaborate divorce process, or as a part of a divorce professional team. Let’s chat.
My goal is to make sure you have a financial advocate. I can be someone who understands your particular financial situation. I can explain it to you. Then help you strategize and move forward.
I can work with couples to offer a third-party objective opinion. This guidance is critical when it comes to creating a financially viable and fair solution for both parties. My job is to remain neutral and present the financial details that help both parties come to a fair and equitable financial arrangement.
I can serve as a witness and objective financial resource for cases that require a financial planning specialist. Whether it’s to provide perspective on settlement options to the couple outside of the courtroom or to provide testimony before a judge, I can be a partner.
I work collaboratively with couples whose main objective is to settle without a judge and minimize legal costs through a voluntary dispute resolution process.
I can work with clients by providing financial assistance and developing financial strategies to enable them to move forward.
You can contact me before, during, and after your divorce. You can get added value by working with a CDFA® professional at any step in the journey. Of course, the earlier I’m looped into the process, the better!
A popular misconception is that after the divorce is done, there is nothing left to do. That’s quite the opposite. The final stamped and signed divorce decree doesn’t transfer anything. It’s still the responsibility of both parties to make sure the stated instructions are followed. There is often confusion, inaction, or bad instructions given — obscuring the guidance provided by the divorce documentation.
There are many steps to make sure you’ve closed all the gaps. It can be very overwhelming. Let’s connect and learn how I can help give you confidence over your financial destiny. You deserve a clear vision of your post-divorce life.
A CDFA® can help you and/or your clients understand:
Developing a Budget
Personal vs. Marital Property
Valuing & Dividing Property
Spousal & Child Support
Integrate Tax Consequences
Review Stock Option Elections
Understanding Risk Tolerance
Analyze Pension, Deferred Compensation & Retirement Plans
Splitting the House, Investment Properties & Other Illiquid Assets
A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® has:
Graduated from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™
Received specialized training in the financial issues of divorce
Fulfilled and ongoing obligation to meet divorce-focused continuing education requirements
A CDFA® is trained to:
Help determine the short-term and long-term financial impact of a proposed divorce settlement
Offer valuable insight into the pros and cons of different settlement proposals
Help clients avoid the common financial pitfalls of divorce
Create personalized reports and graphs illustrating the financial status, cash flow, and net worth of both parties
The average length of the U.S. divorce process is 11 months, but many can carry on for years. We find 80% of the confusion and conflict stems from the identification and division of assets, as well as with the education of both parties on the full financial picture. In the beginning stages of the process, both parties would benefit from a clearer understanding of the financial aspects and addressing both parties’ financial concerns.
While there is an upfront cost to work with a CDFA® professional, you will likely be saving money by making better, smarter, and more informed decisions. If these decisions are not given proper consideration upfront, it will most likely cost you more in the end.
A CDFA® professional can forecast the long-term effects of the divorce settlement. Financial decisions must be made that take into consideration short, intermediate, and long-term needs.
Parties going through a divorce might be used to a higher cost of living lifestyle. Or they may have never given any consideration to what they spend. It’s critical to develop a budget and living expenses as you begin to prepare for a financial life on your own. Every detail of your budget must be evaluated, measured, and given proper consideration before agreeing on a final financial settlement.
Fear of not understanding the financial outcomes from a permanent separation can be paralyzing for couples. Let’s work together and you’ll be empowered to make good decisions. You’ll feel confident and mitigate the negative emotions that stem from having limited knowledge. There are also no do-overs, so the proper time and attention need to be given to all the financial considerations upfront. Then you can move forward confidently.