Frequently Asked Questions

  • To serve clients going through major life transitions.
  • To provide a much needed service to those separating and divorcing individuals during a difficult time in their lives.
  • To provide education and reduce stress regarding the financial aspects of income, asset division, debt management, tax concerns and cash flow challenges.
  • Improve the long term impact to financial choices during life changing moments
  • Assists clients in understanding their financial situation and the process they are going through when separating or divorcing.
  • Helps achieve goals and deals with concerns for financial security and a practical view of options being considered in pivotal times of transition.
  • Provides clients with a reality check.
  • Uses projections and analytical tools to reveal the implications of choices being considered that effect tax costs, inflation, growth, cash flow, etc. both for today and years ahead.
Financial professionals must have an existing financial designation as a base criteria to be eligible to take our program. They enroll in our program consisting of:
  • Ethics, practice standards.
  • Tax rules, tax credits and benefits.
  • Risk management.
  • Budgeting and cash flow analysis.
  • Proprietary software to project all aspects of clients’ financial outcomes.
  • Complete the 4 modules and exams, including case study work to graduate.
Separating or divorcing couples, people who are in the process of joining lives and finances and/or anyone going through a serious life transition.
Depending on the community the average case would generally cost have a large range, depending upon the scope of the work.  Starting expenses is at $1,500 for a very simple case.  If a long, involved case, the cost would be based on the scope and hours of work involved.
It is necessary to have 15 annual education credits in this area, above the regular Financial Planning credits, to be a professional in good order and maintain the designation and a additional 5 in financial aspects of divorce or separations
Yes, all 10 provinces and 2 territories have qualified CFDS professionals available to serve the public. To access a CFDS in your area, visit the "Find a Specialist"
The legal community recognizes that only those with a financial planning designation are acceptable to engage in this complex area of practice. Anyone holding one of the following designations and working in the industry, may enroll in the CFDS training: Note that no exceptions will be made, you must be in good standing with one of the following designations. If the designation you hold is not part of this list, you do not qualify to take the course: 1. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Fin. Pl. designation from the IQPF (Institut québécois de planification financière) 2. Certified General Accountant (CGA) 3. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) 4. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) 5. Chartered Accountant (CA) 6. Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) with proof of taking the fundamentals of Financial Planning (FOFP) course 7. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) 8. Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) 9. Personal Financial Planner (PFP) 10. Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP) 11. Registered Financial Planner (R.F.P.)
The course is offered online and in an in-class (Sudbury, Ontario). Both provide the same material, only the learning format is different. The course takes approximately 80 hrs minimum to complete and include 4 online exams, one practice case study and one final case study submission. During the course you can expect to learn about the following (from our syllabus):
  • Definitions
  • Concepts connected to separation and divorce
  • Chartered Financial Divorce Specialists role
  • Ethics
  • Practice Standards and Conduct
  • Calculating Worksheets – cash flow/budget needs & net worth
  • Taxation –specific to separation and divorce
  • Legal understanding of terminology
  • Asset and debt division
  • Investment issues
  • Pensions – public and private
  • Support – child and spousal
  • Children’s issues
  • Risk management issues –insurance concerns
  • Practice and process procedures and tools
  • Legal process & Collaborative practice
  • Software training
  • Case Studies’ applications utilizing the software
  • Client interaction/management techniques
  • Four exams
In addition to extensive course content, including resource materials related to the professional practice and marketing, we also provide tools such as an advanced calculating worksheet and a specialized software to assists with financial projections.
Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the distinguished designation of Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS). They also receive various CE credits as listed below:
InstitutionCE CreditsDetails
The Institute of Advanced Financial Education (Advocis)30Includes 1 Ethics credits
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC)40Financial Planning Credits (40)
Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)30Cycle 7
Insurance Council of Saskatchewan (ICS)138 Insurance, 5 Non-Insurance
Alberta Insurance Council (AIC)2515 Life, 10 Accidents & Sickness
Insurance Council of Manitoba 24Life, Accident & Sickness - Open
Institut québecois de la planification financière (IQPF)1410 PDUs Financial Planning SPFA, 4 PDUs Compliance with Standards, Ethics and Professional Practice SC
Chambre de la sécurité financière30General 12, Compliance 5, Insurance of Persons 10, Group Insurance 3 - 60 hours of Financial Planning in the Aspect of Separation, Divorce and Cohabitation
Graduates are listed in our "Recent Graduate" feed located on the main page of www.afds.ca and added to our directory of specialists.  Members in good standing have access to an online resource portal that gives them exclusive content such as: forums, cohabitation/separation/divorce documentation, access to the Perspectives Software (TM), custom excel spreadsheet, webinars and more. (NEW***) Introducing an exclusive offer with Medallion Health for CFDS members.  Click here for CFDS offer details or Click here for more info on Medallion HealthClick here for Medallion Brochure
Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists policy here: AFDS Policies
After each Module, students are able to schedule a phone appointment with Linda to review materials covered. These phone appointments are designed to allow students to ask questions or receive clarification of the materials they just covered prior to writing their exam.
Click here for an exclusive offer.

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*Note that all submissions will be subject to review. Not all Financial Divorce Planning designations/ courses are eligible for this offer. You will be notified it you do not qualify via email.
If you hold a Lawyer, Mediator or Divorce Coach designations, you can be an Associate Member of the Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists. Associate members are added to the Member Directory, have access to resource materials, course content and calculating worksheets. Note that Associate Members are not permitted to use the CFDS designation in any capacity and will not be granted access to the Perspectives Software©. Click here to become an Associate Member.

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