Mary Salisbury

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®)

I was divorced after 26 years of marriage. I understand how overwhelmed you are about the divorce process, and how scared and anxious you are about your post-divorce financial situation, and your life in general. While I was married, I was knowledgeable and in charge of our marital finances which put me in a better position during my divorce. Post-divorce, I became a financial advisor. A common theme among my clients was that they had not received the financial guidance they needed in their divorce. That’s a problem because divorce is mostly a financial settlement. People assume that they will get financial guidance in their divorce from their attorney and forget that attorneys are not financial experts. In 2016, I changed my practice to focus solely on the financial aspects of divorce so I could help people get through divorce a better way, the right way, and started The Right Divorce Solution. In 2017, I became a divorce mediator.

The first step in working with me as either a divorce financial planner, a divorce financial advocate or a divorce mediator is to have a one-hour consultation, which I offer both in-person and virtually. In that hour, I will give you the information you need about division of marital property, spousal support and child support. I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of keeping the marital home, which has become so difficult with rising interest rates! We will discuss dividing IRAs, 401(k)s and pensions. If you have children and are amicable about co-parenting them, I’ll tell you about an inexpensive way to get a co-parenting agreement through expert child custody mediators. My goal is that my clients divorce with expert guidance without spending a fortune. Even if we only spend that one hour together, I truly believe my financial guidance will save you, over the course of your divorce, many multiples of what I charge for my one-hour consultation.

What is a CDFA?

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is a specialized financial planner that focuses on you and your family and the effects that a divorce will have now and in the future. As a CDFA, I can benefit you by:

  • Being an objective viewpoint during an emotional process.
  • Helping you understand the financial feasibility of a proposed settlement.
  • Helping you becoming better prepared to take charge of your financial future.
  • Helping you have a clearer understanding of financial considerations in order to make informed, educated decisions regarding issues such as: Can I/Should I keep the house? What are the pros and cons of exchanging certain assets (i.e., trading the pension for other types of retirements accounts)? Will I be able to support myself when spousal/child support ends?

Some of the work that I do includes (but is not limited to):

  • Educating you on financial matters relating to divorce.
  • Offering valuable financial insight on the pros and cons of proposed settlements. Especially for those close to retirement or already retired, this can include projections on the short and long-term financial impact on cash flow and net worth.
  • Creating personalized reports and graphs that illustrate various property division scenarios, cash flow projections, support amounts, etc.
  • Helping address specific challenges, such as loss of health, life or disability coverage and retirement plan benefits.
  • Evaluating complex assets (i.e., stock options, deferred compensation, pensions, etc.) to help you develop a better understanding of how they are factored into the divorce settlement.
  • Explaining divorce-related tax considerations and implications.

I can also help you understand the financial issues of…

  • Separate vs. marital property.
  • Retirement assets and pensions.
  • Splitting the house.
  • Valuing and dividing property.
  • Spousal support and child support.
  • Tax problems, tax solutions and avoiding tax pitfalls.