Divorce Financial Planning

We are Certified Financial Planners® (CFP®s), which means that we are trained on the important areas of your financial situation: taxes, estate planning, insurance, investments, and retirement planning. We also maintain the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® designation (CDFA®). A CDFA® is trained specifically to work with those individuals going through the divorce process. Combining the CFP® and the CDFA® means you have well trained individuals on your team.

Going through a divorce without the right team in place can leave you confused and frustrated. Instead, partner with us to help you create a road map and guide you through the process. Divorce financial planning takes the guesswork out of a stressful time. Working with a divorce financial specialist, you will receive specific instructions and gain an advocate for your rights.

Listen To Our Podcast On Financial Considerations During Divorce!

You can have the knowledge and peace of mind that you are making the right financial decision for you.

<b>What Is Divorce Financial Planning?</b>

What Is Divorce Financial Planning?

Financial planning involves working with a professional who focuses on the financial aspects of a divorce. This includes things like savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement funds, child support, and alimony. By working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, you can come up with a strategy to protect your financial assets and make sure that you get an equitable share of anything you owned or saved with your spouse.

Oceanic Capital Management is an important member of your divorce team and we take a collaborative approach in working with your attorney or mediator. We organize all your financial data, provide long-term financial forecasts, and produce “what-if” scenarios, so you can have the knowledge and peace of mind that you are making the right financial decision for you.

What Information Will I Need To Start The Divorce Financial Planning Process?

There are several financial documents you'll need to start the divorce financial planning process. Since most of the divorce deals with dividing marital property, gathering the following documents can help your legal representative fight for your rights:

  • Five years worth of federal and state income taxes
  • Paystubs for last year
  • Records concerning your retirement accounts: IRAs, 401(k) plans, annuities, IRAs
  • Life, health, auto, and home insurance policies
  • Lease or deed for your home
  • Mortgage statements, credit card statements, student loan debt, and other documents showing debts
  • Documents showing savings, checking, and brokerage accounts
  • Proof of household expenses including utilities, rent, clothing, and food
  • Household budget

Consult with our Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® to see if there are any other records that you should collect. Having these documents ready will greatly help move the process along.

Financial Considerations:


  • Locate/Copy recent tax returns
  • Visit safe-deposit box(es)
  • Avoid large purchases
  • Obtain credit report
  • Establish own credit card
  • Compile monthly bank & investment statements

During Divorce

  • List all income & expenses
  • List all assets & liabilities
  • Obtain all employee benefits
  • Understand Insurance needs
  • Prepare financial projections
  • Child education cost projections
  • Evaluate tax considerations of any settlement


  • Prepare cashflow budget
  • Transfer of assets
  • Understand tax liability
  • Update wills and trust
  • Change beneficiary designations
  • Invest for retirement & child’s education
  • Re-title bank, retirement, and investment accounts
<b>What Happens to My Retirement Plans and Pension After a Divorce?</b>

What Happens to My Retirement Plans and Pension After a Divorce?

A divorce financial planner can answer your questions on what will happen to your retirement plan and pension if you and your spouse get a divorce. Typically, pensions earned while you're married are considered joint assets. Pensions and other qualified retirement plans are distributed according to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that is part of a divorce settlement agreement. You may be entitled to your former spouse's Social Security, but special rules apply in divorce, so it’s important to know your circumstances.

Depending on how you choose to get divorced, through mediation, collaboration, or litigation, will determine how much control you have in negotiating the amount of retirement assets to which you’re entitled. 

A specialist can help you with divorce retirement planning.

Benefits of Using a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®)

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® or CDFA®s give their clients financial planning divorce advice. Working with one of these professionals can help you save time. It can take a long time to research how to prepare for a divorce and protect your assets. At the same time, you may not be mentally or emotionally prepared to do so on your own.

Fortunately, a CDFA® can save you both time and money and help you focus on the most critical tasks and decisions. They can also help you avoid financial pitfalls such as giving up too many assets to your former spouse.

When you work with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, they help you develop a detailed household budget to help you recover from the financial shock that comes with divorce.

Our goal is to make sure you make smart informed decisions, separated from emotion, so you can maintain the lifestyle you need and desire. Work with one of our Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® to decrease the shock and apprehension of divorce financial planning and protect your rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

How you file taxes depends on when the divorce is final. If you’re still married by the end of the calendar year, you’re still together as far as the IRS is concerned. It might be beneficial to file taxes as married filing jointly and split any refunds or tax payments due. You can also use the filing status married filing separately. If your divorce is finalized before December 31st, you’re considered single for that tax year for IRS purposes, assuming you don’t remarry before the end of the year.

After your divorce is completed, you can no longer file as married unless you marry again. If you don’t have any dependents, you will file a single return. If you have dependents, you may qualify for head of household status. How it will affect your taxes depends on your income and deductions. If you’re a high-income earner without dependents, a divorce may increase your tax burden. Our financial advisors can help you identify tax-saving opportunities to reduce the negative financial impact of your divorce.

If you’re separated but not legally divorced, you have two options. You can still file a joint tax return with your spouse, or you can both file as married filing separately. Under certain circumstances, the IRS allows you to file for head of household status, even if you’re not yet divorced. For example, you must have paid for more than half of your household expenses, lived separately for the last half of the year, and meet the other criteria for head of household status.

Under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, the deduction for alimony payments has been repealed. Neither alimony nor child support payments are currently tax-deductible expenses. On the flip side, the recipient doesn’t have to count them as income for tax purposes, either.

After the divorce is final, your filing status will change to single or head of household, depending on whether you have qualifying dependents. You’ll definitely want to talk to our financial advisors to ensure you take advantage of all available tax deductions and credits, even after the divorce.

While it’s possible to buy property during a divorce, it makes things unnecessarily complicated. To protect yourself financially and avoid additional legal expenses, it’s best to wait with purchasing a home until after your divorce is finalized.

Contact Our Team for Your Divorce Tax Planning

Taxes are complicated, especially if you’re going through a divorce. There might be an interim where you’re separated but not officially divorced, which can make filing taxes more complicated. Our divorce tax planners can help you keep more of your money even as you navigate the end of your marriage. Call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our advisors. 

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