Divorce means two lives are pivoting in a new direction. They each face change, uncertainty, anxiety, maybe excitement, and yes, big financial shifts. This session covers the human experiences that form the undercurrent of the divorce process. It is the human side that drives decisions and satisfaction or the lack of satisfaction.
Four tools for productive divorce are presented within four client case stories. You will recognize the client stories, but you may be surprised by how practical and efficient these new tools can be. The presentation is designed to enhance four areas intrinsic to divorce planning:
Susan Bradley, CFP®, CeFT®, is the founder of the Sudden Money® Institute (www.suddenmoney.com) which began 17 years ago as a community of practice seeking to better serve their financial planning clients by developing processes and tools for the personal side of money and for clients going through transitions. This think tank created the Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®) designation, and a division for training and certification called the Financial Transitionist® Institute.
Susan has served on the FPA’s National Board of Directors, she currently sits on the National Football League’s Players Association’s Financial Education Advisory Board, and she serves as the Dean of Transitions for the Council of Deans of the Purposeful Planning Institute. She is seen and heard frequently in the national media, including NBC’s Nightly News, CNN, NPR, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. She is the author of Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall (Wiley 2000), and her TEDx Wilmington Women talk is called, “Change launches you into the next great chapter of your life, whether you like it or not.” She is also the recipient of the Insiders Forum Iconoclast Award 2017.
This workshop will guide you through the structure needed before your first divorcing client walks through the door, as well as learning how to professionally handle prospects and issues that arise as your CDFA practice grows. Topics to be discussed include:
Conducting initial conversations with prospects and clients
Necessary literature and resources you will need to get started (e.g., engagement agreements, etc.)
Setting meeting protocol and putting systems into place
Charging for your services and billing practices
Developing a playbook
Preparing financial scenarios and projections for clients
Ways to successfully work with other divorce professionals
Ideas for marketing your divorce niche
Where to turn for help if you get stuck
This workshop will be most suitable for those who have obtained their CDFA designation within the last few years and want to confidently take their divorce practice to the next level. Sample agreements and other needed templates will be supplied to those who attend.
**Due to popular demand and for those who missed it, this is a repeat of last year’s pre-conference workshop.
Donna Cheswick, CDFA® and Financial Advisor, has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is the owner of Cheswick Divorce Solutions LLC., located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, where she helps individuals, couples and family law lawyers with all the financial complexities that arise during a divorce to ensure the most financially advantageous settlement possible. Education is the backbone of her business, and she frequently teaches workshops on a wide variety of topics relating to finance and divorce, as well as authored numerous articles for local/national print and online publications. Donna is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative financial neutral.
A brief update on the state of the CDFA profession and the plans for 2019. Included will be an introduction of the Board of Advisors, an update on the accreditation process and the location of the 2020 IDFA conference.
About Carol Lee:
Carol Lee Roberts, CFP®, CDFA®, is the President of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™, and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® designations.
Carol Lee received her undergraduate degree from Augustana College and her Master’s Degree in Financial Planning from DePaul University. As the Director of the Office of Professional and Continuing Education at DePaul University, her Financial Planning Education Center had the third largest Financial Planning Certificate program in the country and also offered classroom courses for the CDFA® designation. Carol Lee also has experience in the field of certification having served as the Managing Director of Education and Examination at the CFP Board of Standards in Washington, D.C.
Identity Theft, Travel Safety and Pickpocket Protection
Keynote Speaker: Gene Turner
This presentation is designed to help increase awareness of personal safety in public areas and teach ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Three areas of concern are public transportation (airports, rental cars, bus and train stations, and subways), hotel safety and scams.
Gene Turner’s background gives him a unique perspective on identity theft, travel safety, and pickpocket prevention, as well as business and personal security and safety awareness. As a professional pickpocket entertainer since 1985, Gene knows firsthand how easily thieves steal wallets/purses, badges, passports, and your online identity to gain access to your money as well as sensitive corporate assets and trade secrets. He explains that often you don’t know you’re a victim until it’s too late.
Gene is a recognized authority on physical and logical security threats and solutions. He is certified by the Institute for Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) as a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS). He is a published author, regularly invited TV guest, and keynote speaker at corporate, government, and professional association conferences. To see some of Gene’s TV appearances you can search for Pickpocket Gene on Facebook.
Gene entertained at one of Bette Midler’s birthday parties and traveled to Toronto, Canada, to serve as the coach for pickpocket scenes in the motion picture, Bulletproof Monk. His ability to connect with audiences has made him one of the most respected in his profession, presenting his entertaining and customizable “Magic with a Message” throughout the nation.
The role of the financial neutral in Collaborative divorce cases can present challenges that you may not have encountered in your other cases. During this session, Nancy will explore:
Why to use a financial neutral in the collaborative process;
What the role of the financial neutral is;
How the financial neutral can help to optimize settlements; and
How the team can help support the financial neutral for the most positive client outcomes.
Nancy Hetrick, CDFA®, MAFF™, AWMA®, is the owner of Smarter Divorce Solutions, LLC, the Divorce Financial Planner Training Center, and is a financial advisor with Better Money Decisions. Nancy has become a nationally known trainer for Divorce Financial Planners and offers continuing education and intensive advanced training for CDFA® professionals through www.DivorceFinancialTraining.com.
Cyber Hacking in Divorce Cases of the 21st Century
In this session, Vitali will discuss cyber hacking and its impact on divorce cases—a growing phenomenon in the modern technological era. Topics will include:
One spouse spying on the other spouse;
Cyber hacking and how it can affect divorce;
Ways of digital spying, stalking prevention and detection; and
Digital harassment in divorce cases.
Vitali Martiniouk, CISSP, GCFA, is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, as well as GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst. He has assisted businesses and individuals in developing highly secured information technology (IT) setups that are tightly linked with their business strategies and goals. His specialty is in Intrusion Forensics, Advanced Adversary Detection and Penetration. Vitali has over 20 years of experience in the IT security field.
Diane Pappas, CDFA®, is the Principal of Solutions for Divorce LLC, a fee-only, boutique divorce financial planning firm serving the North Shore of Boston, MA. She is a financial planner, trained mediator and a collaboratively trained Financial Neutral. Diane’s firm is a Registered Investment Advisor for the sole purpose of providing Post-Divorce Financial Planning to her clients. From 2014-2017, she served on the board and then as President of The Divorce Center, Inc. Diane is currently serving her last term on the IDFA Board of Advisors and is the Chair for the newly-formed Public Awareness Task Force.
It is often said that valuing a business is more art than science. There is room for discretion and judgment on the part of the business appraiser but all valuations depend upon certain facts, documents, and financial history to arrive at a value. Being prepared to guide a business owner through the valuation process can lead to better results for all parties involved. For example, simply understanding the time needed to prepare for a business valuation will help establish realistic goals and expectations. Knowing what should be included in a written business valuation report will lead to a better understanding when presented with a valuation prepared by another professional. Business appraisal reports can appear many times to be complex, full of details and difficult to truly understand but it is the purpose of this presentation to provide clarity to the valuation process and the outcomes.
Dan is the President of the National Equipment and Business Builders Institute, Inc. and International Society of Business Appraisers, Inc. In 2012, Dan completed his requirements to receive the CBA credential as issued by the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA). The National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) awarded Dan their Certified Valuation Analysts (CVA) designation in 2013. In 2013, Dan also completed all of the requirements set forth by the International Society of Business Appraisers, Inc. (ISBA) for their Business Certified Appraiser (BCA) credential. Both the BCA and the CBA designations are recognized by the Small Business Administration to be qualified to value businesses being financed by SBA guaranteed loans.
Dan has also been active in state and national industry trade associations over the past years and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Vice President/Treasurer of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and President of the Texas Association of Business Brokers (TABB). Dan completed a second term on the Board of Directors of the IBBA and was also Chairman of the Membership Committee and is a Member of the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA). In 2006, he was awarded the Fellow of the IBBA award in recognition of his service to the organization as well as receiving the Chairman’s Award in 2008. Dan was elected to serve as Chairman of The M&A Source, a middle market trade association of intermediaries and other support professionals in 2009.
Industry Trends Shaping Financial Advice in Canada
The financial advice business in Canada has reached a crossroads, driven by the simultaneous trends of technology, regulation, and demographics. The future commoditization of everything from brokerage to banking to investment management is driving everyone towards delivering financial advice that demonstrates a strong value proposition to clients. While these new trends are bringing more and more financial planning advice to consumers, some secondary trends are creating a challenging landscape for both financial advisors and clients. In this session, we’ll look at how broad industry trends are reshaping the future of financial advice, and how the convergence of a new wealth management landscape is impacting the advice relationship, including:
Competition has intensified. Wealth management is no longer privy to the Banks or independent money management firms, competition is coming from pure digital portfolio management platforms like Wealthsimple and Questrade, but also non-financial players like Google & Amazon.
Shift in Demographics. Women will soon control a larger share of assets, as single, divorced and surviving spouses grow in number. Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation, bringing their digital expectations with them.
Client expectations have changed. Today’s population demands transparency and control in wealth management, just as they do in education, consumer goods, and other industries. They are vocal in their desire for lower fees; no longer will loyalty keep them in one place.
Digital technology. Digital technology has arrived and will only grow in prevalence, as it fuels agility and efficiency in wealth management practices.
Regulation. Increased regulation around fraud prevention, fiduciary responsibility, and other areas are increasingly impacting the industry. Practices are forced to reconstruct key areas of business in order to comply.
Are you talking to plenty of prospects but not converting as many as you would like to clients? Are you ready to start a thriving divorce financial planning practice but uncomfortable quoting your fee? Does “sales” make you squirm in your chair? Then it is time to take the discomfort out of your initial consultation and feel confident in your approach with prospective clients. Join us for a high-energy session discussing common sales mistakes to avoid, initial consultation meeting structures that work, and sales tips that are effective with today's clients.
If you are just starting your practice or have been working in this industry for some time, and are ready to increase your conversion rate, join us for How to Convert a Prospect to a Client.
Essential Knowledge: Family Law Software Basics, Tips, and New Features
During this session, Dan will discuss:
An overview of Family Law Software for the recent IDFA graduate—and those who would like a refresher! We will discuss how to present your CDFA skills to a lawyer using Family Law Software, including budgets, net worth projections, and key documents to use.
Tips for the advanced user. Drawing from Family Law Software’s tech support database, Dan will present issues that have come up repeatedly, and their resolutions.
New features. Find out what’s new in Family Law Software, so you can be utterly current.
Daniel Caine is a Massachusetts-based attorney and is an active founder of Family Law Software, Inc., along with Wendell Smith, both of whom were also partners in the company that developed the critically-acclaimed and best-selling income tax software program “TaxCut,” which was sold to H&R Block, and who continue to market the product today.
The Silver Tsunami: How CDFA Professionals Can Help
The Silver Tsunami is real, and it is happening now. Identifying and recognizing the needs of the over-50 client going through divorce requires a very different approach than for younger clients.
During this session, Micheline will share her experience as a family mediator and CDFA® professional in dealing with grey divorce clients. Moving beyond the numbers, we will look at trends and unique opportunities to involve other professionals who can help grey divorce clients in a total needs approach.
Micheline Maes, CFP®, CDFA®, EPC, RFM is a Registered Family Mediator in Alberta and British Columbia. She also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and Elder Planning Counselor designations.
Micheline has served on the board for the Alberta Collaborative Professionals as a financial neutral for 2 years. She decided to sell her financial planning practice in 2013 to devote herself full time to alternative dispute resolution, with a focus on family and financial education. For the past 5 years, she has provided mediation and negotiation services in a unique format in the areas of separation, divorce, and estate settlements. Most recently, Micheline founded The Lion Heart Project, which offers equine facilitated assistance to people going through life transitions, as well as corporate team building and personal development.
Personal Finances and Matrimonial Standard of Living
What is the Marital Standard of Living (MSOL) and how is it being calculated? The MSOL is one piece that is being considered to determine permanent spousal support. Often the post-divorce MSOL will be different from the pre-divorce MSOL, as supporting two households is more expensive than supporting one household. When calculating the MSOL, two approaches can be followed:
When focusing on income, we can calculate the cash available for living expenses. This approach is faster and less expensive to perform and does not consider many expensive items.
When focusing on expenses, we focus on the actual spending of the parties. This approach assigns actual expenses to the parties spending habits but is very expensive and time-consuming.
While performing an MSOL, many different sources of information need to be reviewed—including checking, investing, and retirement accounts. During the session, we will discuss what MSOL is, why it is an important piece for the parties, how it is being calculated, and how the personal finance piece of the parties is part of the MSOL analysis.
Michael Philipp, CPA, M.Acc., CVA, CDFA®, is the founder of Valuation Consulting Group LLC, a Colorado Public Accounting firm that specializes in business valuations and litigation support services in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Colorado Society of CPAs, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, and the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts.
A comprehensive overview from your decision to be an expert witness to providing compelling expert testimony that supports the case. In this session, we will cover critical decision points, tactical preparation, effective delivery, and real-life experiences. Gain insight into attorneys’ strategies, potential pitfalls, key success factors. How to be introspective in developing your style, understanding how you will be evaluated and judged by counsel and opposing counsel, reflecting on your own performance. It can all be something like a psychological thriller, only more rewarding. Master the ultimate service you can provide to your clients.
Rosemary Frank is the Principal of Rosemary Frank Financial, LLC, a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser. As a divorce financial practitioner since 2005, Rosemary has consulted on hundreds of divorce cases providing litigation support, expert witness testimony, or financial neutral services.
Rosemary received her B.S. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and was awarded an MBA by the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She holds the designations of Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®), Advanced Divorce Financial Analyst (ADFA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF). She is also a TN State Supreme Court Listed Rule 31 Family Law Mediator, specially trained in domestic violence. As an educator, she has authored numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses on the financial and tax issues of divorce, which have been approved for credits by the TN Commission on Continuing Legal Education for attorneys and the TN Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for mediators. She is also a frequent contributor on a variety of financial topics, including guest spots on radio and TV, and articles for Divorce Magazine and Investopedia.
Financial Considerations for Divorcing Parents of Children with Disabilities
If the disability is significant, the parents may need to provide financial support for the rest of their child’s life. Raising a child with a disability is estimated to cost 5 to 10 times the amount normally required. Most parents, even those who remain married, are not able to manage the costs on their own, at least not without seriously compromising other important priorities and putting their own financial security at risk.
Federal and provincial government disability assistance programs can mean the difference between stability and financial struggles for the entire family. Government supports on their own are not enough to maintain a reasonable standard of living for a person with a disability, but they can go a long way to help relieve enough of the financial pressure. But key government disability support programs are a complex maze of rules and restrictions, where eligibility and the amount of support is based on financial criteria. The treatment of income and assets are subject to a wide range of rules, restrictions, and exceptions. Common financial decisions and estate planning strategies suitable for most families can seriously compromise eligibility for these supports.
Typical financial advice and estate planning strategies can undermine access to key government disability support programs. Without a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations, parents attempting to supplement these benefits with their own money can easily and unknowingly jeopardize their child’s eligibility for government supports. An awareness of the central issues and effective strategies is key to successfully developing a sound agreement between the parents. This session will discuss the key issues and strategies to consider when your client is in the process of separation and divorce and has a child with a disability.
Ron Malis is a Financial Advisor based in Toronto. His practice focuses solely on working with clients with disabilities and their families. The majority of his clients are parents of adult children who have developmental disabilities and are receiving Ontario Disability Support Program benefits (ODSP). His understanding of ODSP, relevant estate planning strategies, the Registered Disability Savings Plan, and the management of formal trusts, has benefited many individuals with disabilities and their family members.
Ron has delivered many seminars over the years to parents, professionals in the disability sector, lawyers, and other financial professionals. He has appeared on T.V., print media, and radio, discussing financial topics related to people with disabilities and ODSP issues and changes. He is also a weekly guest on Accessible Media Inc.’s daily radio show, Kelly and Company, where he discusses personal finance.
Divorce can be especially difficult when one of the partners may have or is continuing to pursue criminal acts. Criminal behavior may be known by the spouse or it may come as a complete surprise, thereby causing the partners to split up.
There are two types of criminal behavior. A felony is defined as a serious crime and usually punishable by a long prison sentence and may involve financial restitution. Types of divorce-related felonies can include forgery, aggravated assault or battery, burglary or manufacture and sale of certain quantities of illegal drugs. White collar offenses can also be considered felonies and could include mail and wire fraud, Ponzi schemes and tax evasion. Remedies may include financial restitution, jail time and/or probation. Felonies can be characterized as either violent or nonviolent, depending on the crime(s). Misdemeanors are less serious but the perpetrator can still end up with a jail sentence, usually less than one year.
In this conference session, we will dig deep into how to recognize criminal behavior. We will discuss the warning signs, red flags and distress signals being sent by clients that extra scrutiny may be needed to determine any extent of criminality. Lastly, I will share my experiences with criminal divorces and their outcomes.
Peggy L. Tracy, MBA, CFP®, CDFA®, CFE, has been the sole owner of Priority Planning, a tax preparation, and financial services practice, since 1986. She added her divorce planning business in 2003. A Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional, she focuses on assisting divorcing clients with financial matters, including a specialization in forensic accounting and fraud examination. She has testified in court on behalf of her clients, and has conducted more than 100 marital fraud investigations.
Discover the Most Effective Ways to Grow Your Divorce Practice
Are you looking for ways to take the guesswork out of how to build a profitable divorce practice that brings in consistent revenue? In this presentation, we will do a deep dive into three main strategies that when applied, can lead to outstanding results in your business:
Uncover the number #1 strategy that consistently attracts your ideal target market, time and time again. Learn how to craft your message so that clients want to meet with you!
Discover the ONLY 3 ways to grow your business and increase your profitability. We’ll show you how to simplify this process so that you feel less overwhelmed about growing your practice.
Learn the success mindset secrets that high earning service professionals use to create thriving businesses. Find out how to unblock yourself around money, fees, and value so you never get in your own way doing work you love while earning what you deserve.
Leave this session feeling empowered about how to grow your practice and how to start implementing these strategies when you get back to the office.
Sylvia Garibaldi, Founder, SG and Associates is an energetic and passionate Business Coach with over 10 years of experience helping hundreds of high earning service professionals achieve outstanding results in their business.
As an accomplished coach and business strategist for service-based professionals and experts, Sylvia can get right to the source of the challenge, lay out a rock-solid success strategy and keep her clients on track to reach their goals. By motivating and inspiring clients, Sylvia’s valuable insights also allows them to stand out and become well-known experts in their respective industries.
She is sought-out by various industries to provide insights and contribute to well-known publications. She holds both an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce. Her mission is simple but powerful: to help as many professionals and firms transform their businesses and lives in ways they may not yet have imagined.
Case Study Intensive: Unlocking Strategies for Spousal Support, Stock Options and Real Estate Allocations
As divorce financial professionals we are constantly required to provide state of the art solutions from simple to complex client fact patterns. For this reason, it is critical to have an arsenal of analysis applications to choose from that you can adapt to a variety of client scenarios.
This session will be a hands-on, interactive experience where we will dissect real-time client case studies that will include the following areas of focus:
Spousal support: Different flavors of crafting this option in situations involving premarital agreements, buyout considerations, imputing income, payment obligations approaching retirement.
Stock options: Understanding the basics, timing of liquidation, taxation parameters. Real estate- Separate vs. marital values, rental property issues, considerations and qualifications for equity buyout compensation.
The ability to provide targeted solutions to your client engagements is the key to building client confidence and elevating your practice.
Karen D. Sparks, CDFA®, J.D. is the principal and owner of Divorce Financial StrategistsTM. Ms. Sparks has over 20 years of professional experience in the legal field providing senior level paralegal support and in the business sector as a CFO/Business Manager providing all aspects of financial oversight and project management support. In 2010, Ms. Sparks obtained her professional designation as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® from the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts®.
She serves clients locally throughout the state of California and nationwide for divorce and separation financial analysis as well as post-divorce financial implications. Ms. Sparks has been a retained expert and trial expert witness regarding the marital standard of living analysis and has created very popular webinars on this subject as well as how to craft solutions for real estate allocation. She has also been retained to provide business valuation analysis to determine income available for support. She is the co-author of the “Stress Free Divorce Vol. 1” published in April 2017. Additionally. her published work includes articles in the Divorce Financial Analyst Journal, Family Lawyer Magazine and as a contributing financial expert for Investopedia and Worthy.com.
Ms. Sparks is a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association, the Palo Alto Bar Association, the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts®, the Association of Divorce Financial Planners and the Financial Planning Association and she serves as a Fee Arbitrator for the San Mateo County Bar Association’s fee arbitrator program. Ms. Sparks served as a director on the Board of Directors for the Association of Divorce Financial Planners from 2015-2018.
During this session, James and Irina discuss what financial professionals ought to know about estate planning, how it intersects with family law, and the role domestic contracts play in determining how property, support, and other matters should be dealt with upon breakdown of the relationship.
The estate plan usually involves the drafting of one or more Wills, Powers of Attorney and Trusts. In some families—such as blended families—a domestic contract presents an important part of the estate plan. Through a series of case studies involving domestic contracts, James and Irina will discuss how estate planning and family law interplay, including dealings with cross-border situations. Those attending the session will also learn how the changing concept of family—including the recognition of same-sex marriage, amendments to adoption laws and the inclusion of other types of relationships, such as polygamy—may affect child and spousal support claims upon the termination of such relationships.
With a Master’s degree in Family Law, and more than 20 years of practicing as a family lawyer in Toronto, James S. Marks, LL.B., LL.M., has helped a wide variety of clients and successfully managed complex divorce situations that included Hague Applications, custody and access disputes, property division, spousal and child support issues, estate law, and international conflicts.
James has also appeared at many levels of court, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, and set an international precedent involving same-sex couples in the case Hincks v. Gallardo.
About Dr. Irina:
Dr. Irina Koropenko, PhD, CFP®, CLU, TEP, CDFA®, is a comprehensive Estate and Financial Planning professional working with individual and corporate clients. She provides advanced financial planning including tax, estate, retirement, business and farm planning. She prepares and runs educational seminars, training sessions, and tutorials in insurance, financial, and estate planning for advisors and clients. Having worked in the financial industry since 1995, Irina started as an advisor and then became a financial planner in 2002.
In addition, Irina holds several professional designations, among them the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, Chartered Life Underwriter, Trust and Estate Practitioner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® designations. Irina currently serves as a president of the Estate Planning Council of Toronto. Irina also holds the Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Justin A. Reckers, CFP®, CDFA®, is the Chief Executive Officer of WellSpring Divorce Advisors, and the lead Financial Advisor at Fonte Financial Advisors, a Member of Advisory Services Network, LLC. Justin is a graduate of The Ohio State University, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional. He is a former board member of The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, Collaborative Practice California and the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego. Justin is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Pacific South Coast Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.