Frequently Asked Questions
As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®), David Smith can assist you to create a fair financial settlement. Below you will find some commonly asked questions about divorce financial planning.
01 Will I lose part or all of my pension as a result of my divorce?
Pensions and retirement plans are marital assets; generally speaking, the portion you earned during your marriage will be subject to division. Depending on the state you live in, the portion that was earned before your marriage could also be considered a marital asset. However, it may be possible to keep your pension intact and have it offset with other assets.
02 Is my IRA considered marital property?
Everything acquired during the marriage, no matter whose name it's in, is typically considered marital property. In some states/provinces, the increase in value of separate property could also be considered marital property. If you are going through a divorce, you should evaluate the financial drawbacks to having your IRA included in the list of assets you will retain post-divorce. Remember, the funds in the IRA cannot be accessed before 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Talk to your CDFA® professional about your options.
03 Do I need to go to court to get divorced?
Only if you can't reach an agreement. Then, a court date is set and a judge hears the case. Less than 2% of all divorce cases go to trial in the United States.
04 Who can help us to sort out our finances during our divorce?
A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® is trained to help people through the maze of divorce. They sift through the financial issues including incomes, expenses, assets, tax issues, pensions, division of property, and help you reach an equitable solution that is fair to both parties. A CDFA® professional has specialized skills and experience that enables him/her to analyze financial issues in divorce in their long-term context. A CDFA® can take the offer on the table and project out 5, 10, 20 years to show you what you’ll have to live on if you sign the agreement.
05 I have never worked. Can I get Social Security?
If your spouse has worked and if you have been married for 10 years or more, than you are entitled to one-half of your spouse's Social Security or your own, whichever is higher – even if you are divorced. Your spouse still retains 100% of his/her Social Security benefit. This is an automatic guarantee and therefore it is not a negotiation point in a divorce.
Content source: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA™)