Donna Cates is a Senior Financial Advisor who serves as a trusted advisor to three specific groups: those nearing retirement or recently retired; women in transition; and family law attorneys. Donna works with her clients to develop and implement comprehensive financial plans that relate directly to their unique financial goals and personal values. She understands that most people strive not only to have money but also to live free from financial worry --so they can live a life that excites them, nurtures those they love, and fulfills their highest aspirations.
Donna earned her BBA in Management and Psychology from Georgia State University and possesses Series 6, 7, 63, 65, and insurance licenses. She completed certification as a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and is one of only eight Certified Divorce Financial Analysts in the state of Alabama.
Donna is passionate about educating and empowering people to manage their financial well-being, She has spoken for numerous professional, civic, and religious organizations including: Central Alabama Women’s Business Organization; Vestavia Hills Rotary Club; Attorney Solo Practitioners Association of Alabama; Business Professional Women’s Organization; Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Roundtables; women’s Section of the Birmingham Bar Association; St. Claire County Bar Association; Vulcan Employees Development Association; Church of Brook Hills; and the Birmingham Girl Scouts. Donna also provides continuing legal education (CLE) programs for attorneys and continuing professional education (CPE) programs for CPAs.
Donna is involved in the community professionally through the Executive Women’s Roundtable of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the Business Network International (BNI). She served as BNI’s first president and grew the chapter from five to 45 professional members in just one year. Donna currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is an active volunteer for the organization.
On a personal note, Donna is an avid reader and enjoys snow skiing and hiking.
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One of the guiding values in mediation and collaborative law is transparency. It comes with the territory when one is trying to establish trust with two different parties. Sometimes an issue may arise that one party may wish not to discuss in front of the other. If they both agree, separate meetings may take place. These meetings are called caucuses.Caucuses can be…See More
I think everyone’s least favorite word is BUDGET. Why don’t we want to hear that word? Think about it: We’re asking ourselves to do something we don’t want to do — or worse yet, someone else is asking us to do it. While we might not like them, having a budget does help. In divorce planning — whether you are going to litigation,…See More
I remember when the default custody arrangement had one parent as the custodial parent, and the other parent was known as the “Disneyland parent.” They had their children every other weekend, and maybe once during the week for dinner. Today it is more common to see joint parenting time consist of one week on, and one week off or “two-two-five-five” time,…See More
Very often, couples who are divorcing amicably, or who have straightforward financial situations, will forgo meeting with a financial professional while they go through mediation. Though this may seem logical on its face, “going it alone” may result in unnecessary hardship and inaccurate calculations. It is easy to simply look at a tax table today and say “I am going…See More
Going through divorce means dealing with hundreds of details, some more important than others. One detail that merits extra contemplation is how to deal with the marital home.Does one spouse want to keep it because the children still live there? You don't want to disrupt their lives any more than is already happening. What if the children are grown? Do you still need that much of a house?Here are the three most common means of dealing with the house in divorce:Selling the house and dividing the…See More