The IDFA has adopted a Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility (“Code”), which establishes minimum standards of acceptable professional conduct for individuals entitled to use the CDFA certification mark and the marks CDFA and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (collectively, “the marks”). A CDFA designee’s use of the marks is a proclamation to the public that the CDFA designee is a person that members of the public can trust for advice regarding the financial aspects of divorce. A CDFA designee will be true to that trust, will hold inviolate the confidences of the client, and will competently fulfill his/her responsibilities to the client. Adherence to the Code is mandatory for all CDFA designees, and its provisions will be strictly enforced by the IDFA. Non-compliance may result in certification revocation.

Grounds for Disciplinary Investigation:

  • Failure to follow the CDFA Code of Ethics and Practice Standards.
  • Conviction of criminal violation of state or federal law whether or not the violation occurred while working with a client.
  • Such other circumstances as deemed appropriate by the IDFA.

Forms of Discipline

IDFA action as a result of a complaint can result in the following forms of discipline:

  • Dismissal – After examination the Ethics Committee chairman has determined the complaint is without warrant and the charge against the CDFA designee has been dismissed.  No further action is needed and the matter remains confidential.
  • Private Censure Letter – The ethics committee chairman has determined that a letter of censure will be placed in the CDFA designee’s file.  There is no further action required and the matter remains confidential.
  • Suspension.
  • Revocation.
  • Such other discipline as the IDFA determines is appropriate.

The disciplinary action to be taken by the IDFA will be determined by the IDFA on a case by case basis in its discretion.

Investigation Process:

  • All complaints against a CDFA designee must be submitted in writing to the IDFA.
  • The chairman of the Ethics Committee will request that the CDFA designee forward all pertinent information to the chairman within 30 days.  Failure to comply with an information request within this time may result in disciplinary action.
  • The chairman will evaluate the validity of the complaint and make a disciplinary recommendation.
  • Should the CDFA designee disagree with the chairman’s decision they may appeal the decision in writing within 20 days.
  • The Steering Committee will review the information and decide the appropriate course of action within a reasonable period of time.
  • The Steering Committee’s decision is final and binding.

Reinstatement After Discipline

  • Reinstatement After Suspension:  Upon expiration of the period of suspension, a CDFA designee must file with the IDFA, within 30 days of the expiration of the period of suspension, an affidavit stating that the suspended CDFA has fully complied with the order of suspension and with all applicable provisions of the order.
  • Revocation shall be permanent and there shall be no opportunity for reinstatement.

Confidentiality of Proceedings

Dismissals and private censures shall be handled confidentially, to the extent possible.  The IDFA will make such disclosures as are required in order to satisfy the requirements of law or the lawful orders or processes of the court or other governmental body or agency or as reasonably required for any regulatory compliance.  Suspensions and Revocations will be made available to the public at the discretion of the IDFA.