The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) Program is designed to prepare you as an expert on the financial aspects of divorce. For many clients, divorce is the largest financial transaction of their lives. The role of a CDFA® professional is to address the special financial issues of divorce with data to help achieve equitable settlements.

Prerequisites

Candidates must now have a bachelor’s degree with three years of on-the job experience or, if no bachelor’s degree, five years of relevant experience. Experience has been defined as the following:

  • Financial planning
  • Family law practice, or

Experience in three or more of the following:

  • Tax code
  • Investment advisory or management
  • Real estate, mortgage, and reverse mortgage lending
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Financial therapist or coach

A candidate will have to report their experience and have it approved prior to using the CDFA marks. Experience will be submitted through the candidate’s profile and will be reviewed by IDFA staff. Divorce Financial Planning is the application of the discipline of financial planning to settlement strategies in divorce. The process requires the synthesis of tax, insurance, retirement, and other areas of knowledge with their specific application to divorce. The eligibility requirements were established by the Board of Advisors and reflect the fact that this is not an entry-level designation but an advanced program.

IDFA understands that the financial industry encompasses a broad range of organizations. To see the full list of designations recognized by IDFA, see our FAQs page. Divorce industry experience is considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions about this prerequisite, please contact info@InstituteDFA.com.

Non-discrimination

Certitrek and its subsidiaries including FIA dba Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis will admit candidates without regard to age, sex, race color, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status to all rights, privileges, programs, and examinations. IDFA will not discriminate based on age, sex, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status in the administration of its certification and recertification policies.

Paths to Certification

There are currently four methods of pursuing the CDFA certification. Here is a brief summary of each option and what is included in the package:

1. Exam Only. You may purchase the exam vouchers from IDFA or Pearson Vue and then schedule and take the examination. A blueprint of the current exam topics is available on our website and there is no requirement that you purchase any texts or testing materials from IDFA. Cost: $495

2. Self Study. You may purchase the text (hard copy or pdf). This option includes an exam voucher at no additional cost, access to the IDFA Insider student forum, and is designed for individuals who prefer to read and master the materials independently. Cost: Hard Copy $1,530; PDF $1,455

3. Self-Paced eLearning. This program is divided into ten modules that each include digital text, a video lecture, and a unit quiz. In addition, eLearning provides a calculator tutorial, a 150 question practice exam and the exam voucher. Access to the IDFA Insider Student forum is included with all eLearning programs. Cost: $1,525

4. Virtual Classroom. This program is offered periodically and includes everything in the self-paced learning program supplemented with a weekly live call to review the materials and answer any questions the participants may have. Cost: $1,675

What’s Included

Exam Only

Self-Study Text

Self-Paced eLearning

Virtual Classes

Candidate Handbook

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Exam Voucher

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Access to Resources in IDFA Learning

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Divorce Financial Planning Textbook

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Interactive eLearning Modules

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Videos

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Downloadable Templates and Job Aids

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Links to External Resources

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Quizzes

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Discussion Boards

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Practice Exam

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Weekly Live Classes (10)

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CDFA® Examination

The examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have four hours to complete the examination. Candidates must pass with a 75% or higher to receive the CDFA designation.

All exams are taken at a Pearson VUE testing center, which has locations across the United States and Canada. To find a testing center in your area, go to www.PearsonVue.com, search 'IDFA,' and then click 'Find a Test Center.' You can also contact us at 800-875-1760 or info@InstituteDFA.com.

CDFA® Exam Blueprint 2020

Learning Objectives

CDFA candidates will study a broad range of topics regarding the financial aspects of divorce including:

• Overview of divorce laws and procedures;
• Marital vs. separate property;
• Pensions and retirement plans;
• Options for the marital home;
• Fundamentals of child and spousal support;
• Tax issues related to selling or transferring property;
• Debt, credit, and bankruptcy;

Candidates Handbook

Maintaining Your Designation

Once you complete the CDFA® course, your designation is valid for one year, after which you must pay a $295 annual reinstatement fee.
To assure continuing competency in tax codes, legislative and other ongoing developments in the field of divorce financial planning, you must report 30 hours of divorce-related continuing education every two years. In order to maintain the credibility and integrity of the certification process, IDFA reserves the right to verify any information provided on renewal applications. Requests for verification may be made prior to recertification or at a future time. 100% percent of certification renewal applications will be reviewed to ensure that all renewal requirements are met. If any areas of non-compliance are identified within the recertification application, the individual will have 30 days to submit any required information. If the required information is not provided, the individual’s certification will expire at the end of the allowed time or on the normal expiration date (whichever comes last).

Continuing Education (CE) Eligibility

Divorce Financial Planning program qualifies for 20.5 hours of CFP Board Credit. For lawyers and accountants, consider using this course as a CPD learning activity in your Continuing Professional Development Plan.