About Certified Divorce Financial Analysts®

The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA™) is the premier national organization dedicated to the certification, education and promotion of the use of financial professionals in the divorce arena.

The Institute provides comprehensive training using a variety of knowledge and skill-building techniques. Candidates will learn how to help their clients with financial issues that will affect the rest of their lives, and they will  receive the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation after successfully completing the course.

IDFA provides candidates with training on how to fit into the divorce process:

  • Strategist/Litigation Support:
      1. Becomes part of the divorce team and provides litigation support for the lawyer and client on financial issues such as:
      2. Has knowledge about the legal issues in divorce.
      3. Provides the client and lawyer with data that shows the financial effect of any given divorce settlement.
      4. Determine how much risk they are willing to take with their investments.
      5. Brings an innovative and creative approach to settling cases.
  • Financial Expert: 
      1. The short-term and long-term effects of dividing property;
      2. Is knowledgeable about specific tax laws that apply to divorcing couples.
      3. Analyzing pension and retirement plans;
      4. Calculating the present value of a pension;
      5. Determining the cost basis and capital gains on the sale of the marital home;
      6. Evaluating the insurance needs of the client, and determining if the client qualifies for COBRA.
  • Data Collector/Budget Preparer:
      1. Develop a budget.
      2. Determining earning capabilities.
      3. Establishing assumptions for projecting inflation and rates of return.
      4. Collect financial and expense data.
      5. Set retirement objectives.
      6. Determine what kind of education they want for their children.
  • Client Expectations Manager: 
      1. Help them identify their future financial goals.
      2. Identify what kind of lifestyle they want.
      3. Determining if the client can afford the marital home, and if not, what he/she can afford.
  • Evidence Presenter:
      1. Appears as an expert witness in court or in mediation or arbitration proceedings.
      2. Is trained to interview clients.


Modules One, Two, and Three each conclude with a two-hour 100 question multiple choice exam and Module Four concludes with a comprehensive case-study exam consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions. All exams are taken at an approved testing center, with centers located across the US and Canada. If you want to find the closest testing center to you, contact us at 800-875-1760 or info@institutedfa.com. All exam fees are included in the tuition. If you do not score a 70% or above on an exam, you must pay a $150 retake fee. There is no limit on the number of times you may retake an exam.

Designation Use and Continuing Education

Your designation is valid for one year from your date of certification, after which you must pay a $195 annual reinstatement fee. To retain the CDFA designation, you must also obtain 15 divorce-related hours of continuing education every two years, to remain in good standing with the IDFA.

Referral Program

IDFA has established a referral program for the public, lawyers, and the media to access CDFA professionals on the IDFA website. Referrals are made based on Zip or Postal Code unless the client asks for a specific CDFA professional. In order to be listed, a CDFA professional must be in good standing with IDFA, with CE credits and designation dues up to date.

Marketing Support

After you sucessfully completed the course, IDFA will provide you with a marketing manual to assist you in setting up and marketing your practice. IDFA also offers seminar kits, brochures, presentation folders, and a book about divorce to be used in marketing to prospective clients and referral sources (such as lawyers, mediators, judges, social workers, or therapists).



To register for the course, click here!