What Comes After Valentine’s Day? Divorce, of Course

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Valentine’s Day may be for lovers, but the day after is all about divorce; according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, many unhappy couples who limped through the holiday season start divorce proceedings on Feb. 15.


Divorce often follows a bad Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is full of expectations – and when those expectations are not met ... divorce quickly comes to mind.

According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA), Valentine’s Day may be for lovers, but the day after is all about divorce. “Valentine’s Day is full of expectations – and when those expectations are not met on what is supposed to be the most romantic and loving day of the year, divorce quickly comes to mind,” says Cathleen Belmonte Newman, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA™) based in Chicago, IL. “There is definitely an increase in phone calls on February 15 from clients seeking advice and information about the next steps to resolving their marital strife.”

Most people contemplate divorce for six months to a year before taking any action, and February 15 seems to be a trigger for many unhappy couples. They limped through the holiday season – especially if they have kids – but one more Valentine’s Day in a miserable marriage is the final straw.

Michelle Smith, a CDFA professional based in New York, NY, also experiences holiday-related spikes in business – but hers are immediately after New Year’s and right before the summer holidays. Regardless of when someone decides to end their marriage, Smith advises them not to try to go through the process without a CDFA to protect their financial interests. “You go to a divorce lawyer for legal advice and strategy; the CDFA professional is the financial zoom lens for that strategy,” she says. “The CDFA obtains and analyzes the numbers, and quantifies the client’s goals. With the numbers and the client’s goals, the lawyer’s job is to package that with legal strategy and case law for the best outcome. The critical component of that is the CDFA to analyze and strategize with the numbers. It is a trio: the client’s goals; the numbers; and the legal strategy. It has to work as a package – and that package doesn’t work without a CDFA.”

Working with clients and their lawyers, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) forecasts both the short and long-term effects of the proposed settlement, letting the client and lawyer know what the financial future will look like if the client accepts “Settlement A” or “Settlement B”. CDFA professionals also give lawyers the tools they need to help prove their cases. To watch a short video about how CDFA professionals help divorcing individuals, click here.

Founded in 1993, IDFA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The designation and this niche industry are expanding rapidly as the more than two-million people who will divorce this year in the US and Canada search for alternative divorce processes – from collaborative divorce to mediation – rather than litigating their case using lawyers as their only line of defense.

CDFA professionals are found throughout the US and Canada, from Los Angeles to New York to Toronto. The IDFA is the premier national organization dedicated to the certification, education, and promotion of the use of financial professionals in the divorce arena. For more information, visit https://www.institutedfa.com.

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Diana Shepherd

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