April 2011

Divorce Settlement Tip #10: Divorce Settlement Tips for Successful Divorces

As we mentioned back during Divorce Settlement Tip #1, family law isn’t the easiest practice in the world. You’ve often got sniping parties and clients who often take things personally. Very personally.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted 10 divorce settlement tips to help you serve your clients better—and reach quicker and more satisfactory settlements.  Now it’s time for the granddaddy tip of them all: putting it all together—so that you protect your clients (and yourself), save them money (versus hiring a forensic or matrimonial CPA), and earn their appreciation and (dare we say) adoration for life.

How to do it? It’s simple. Divorce Financials Software. This leading family law software doesn’t make divorce settlements pain-free, but it does facilitate options and planning, so that you can lessen the sting of hurt feelings with quick, viable solutions.

Let’s review our tips.

  1. Always start with available cash. You start by figuring out what everyone’s net income is—not gross income. This way, you know what you’re dealing with.
  2. Always work backwards from need. Similarly, you start with a net “need” figure…otherwise known as a budget.
  3. Disregard absolute numbers (settlement amounts)—in favor or “Net Disposable Income.” You’ve got to plug in the numbers on the table, so that you know what this leaves your client with at the end of the day—after taxes. Only then can your client make a truly informed decision.
  4. Perform an Alimony v. Child Support calculation—for tax purposes. You can’t play much with the lowest figure of child support. But what you can do is posit different combinations—to take the best advantage of what’s tax deductible (alimony) and what’s not (child support).
  5. Always perform a present value calculation for a Lump-Sum Settlement. The point isn’t whether one wants to pay or receive a lump-sum settlement. The point is to consider it as a realistic option—and figure out what it’s worth in an apples-to-apples comparison.
  6. Consider the future value of pensionsPensions are complicated - but our software will hand you a ballpark figure, so at least you know what you’re up against without having to hire a forensic accountant.
  7. Calculate your Alimony Recapture figures. You don’t want your client to get a nasty surprise when tax season comes around.
  8. Consider Equitable Distribution. He wants the cars. She wants the house. Good thing we have a software that keeps an eye on the bottom line at all times—and translates your clients’ preferences into hard-and-fast dollars.
  9. For high net worth clients, perform a Lifestyle Analysis. Enough said.

10.  Put it all together – so that you protect yourself, and earn your clients’ adoration. And this brings us to today.

To learn more about how our divorce software for attorneys makes it all happen, call us at 800 905 7638.

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Divorce Settlement Tip #9: Perform a Lifestyle Analysis on High Net Worth Clients

In Divorce Settlement Tip #2, we discussed how you always have to work backward from each party’s needs. As we mentioned then, “need” is synonymous with “budget”—and the best, quickest, most painless way to a settlement was to look at the budget for each party, not just your client.

Nowhere is this more true than with your high net worth clients. For these clients, you need to perform a Lifestyle Analysis to figure out how to replicate their marital lifestyle.

Good thing Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials software can expedite this every time.

With Divorce Financials, there’s no need to add messy additional pages to the asset or expense tally – or even to break out the calculator.

The software allows you to tally an unlimited number of expenses, assets, income and liabilities.  To wit, you can add each of the following – in infinite quantity:

  • Homes. The software allows you to add a number of vacation homes to your tally.
  • Other assets. Add cars, boats, jewelry, and more.
  • Businesses. The software will itemize everything from capitalization to income.
  • Bank accounts—both checking and savings.
  • Expenses. Itemized for each party among different needs, such as children, stepchildren, cars, etc.
  • And more.

These easy expansions cover the wealthiest clients—or those with the most extensive obligations.

Our easy-to-use, well reviewed and popular family law software makes it easy to figure out what each party needs—and work backwards from there.

To learn more about our divorce software for attorneys, call Easy Soft at 800 905 7638.

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Divorce Settlement Tip # 8: Alimony Recapture Calculations

As a family law attorney, you know that alimony recapture is the big bad wolf of the divorce world—particularly for the payor. It comes into effect when alimony payments end, or decrease substantially, during the first three calendar years ofalimony payments—triggering a transfer of some portion of the previous two years’ alimony tax break from payor to recipient.

For the payor, the tax break – considered a loophole by the U.S. tax code—gets partially negated. Bad news. For the recipient, it’s a gain. Still, it’s good to know what to expect.

Of course, alimony is a fully negotiated amount – in all 50 states. You can structure the payments however you like – so long as both parties agree. The key is to avoid structuring the alimony payments – however inadvertently – to trigger a recapture. You don’t want your client to be taken by surprise by an unexpected tax liability.

On the other hand, if your client is the recipient, this would be good news. Either way, it’s good to know what’s up.

Luckily, Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials software is intelligent enough to flag a payment scenario that would trigger an alimony recapture. When this happens, the software will notify the user, and bingo! No more surprises down the line.

Our easy-to-use, well reviewed and popular family law software makes it easy to encourage favorable situations, and avoid unpleasant or unexpected situations—or at least plan for them far in advance.

To learn more about our divorce software for attorneys, call Easy Soft at 800 905 7638.

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Divorce Settlement Tip #7: Making Sure “Equitable” Means “Equitable”

She wants the jewelry and the house. He wants the summer home and the cars.

But she wants the SUV…and he can have the BMW. But about the vintage stamp collection…

This is the sort of back-and-forth negotiating that can drive a divorce attorney mad.

It’s not that you don’t want your client to get what he or she prefers. It’s just that any change in the distribution of assets and liabilities upsets the delicate, apple-cart balancing act that you’re trying to accomplish—and requires laborious re-calculation.

Most of all, you hate math.

That’s where Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials comes in. It helps you to effectuate your parties’ distribution of assets, liabilities, and other illiquid possessions.

Divorce Financials helps you to keep an eye on the bottom line. The software reminds you what the kitty is worth at all times, and what portion your client is claiming or defending.

It gives you an instantaneous snapshot of assets and liabilities. And then, when the negotiations change course (on a dime), it can generate another snapshot—and easily see the surplus and shortfall figures.

Just think of Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials as a digital camera for your divorce settlement needs!

Our easy-to-use, well reviewed and popular family law software makes it easy for you to provide advice and solutions. It’s more than a tool: it’s a platform on which to market your services—and to deliver better advice to your clients, without having to perform tedious math.

To learn more about our divorce software for attorneys, call us at 800 905 7638.

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Divorce Settlement Tip # 6: Future Value of Pensions

Pensions are an enormously complicated subject. You need an actuary to fully explain and calculate how they work.

Well, we’re not actually actuaries. But we do know that in most divorce cases, pensions built up over the course of 5, 10, 15 or more years are valuable assets. You want to help your client approximate what these assets are worth—but chances are, you’re reluctant to send him or her to an expensive forensic accountant to do so.

And we applaud that sentiment.

Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials family law software provides a quick pension value calculator. Our quick valuation is a peek at what each party’s pension is worth. It’s not down to the penny (we’re not performing QDROs here)—but it provides an invaluable estimate…in seconds.

The calculation is similar to an alimony present value (or lump sum) calculation.

Say your client began working in 2000. He or she got married in 2005, then divorced in 2010. That’s 10 years of pension value buildup—five of which are marital.

To figure out what this is worth, you simply open the pension valuation tool. You enter the date of plan entry, the date of marriage, the date of the valuation (today), and of course monthly pension amounts along with cost of living adjustments, if any.

Click enter, and there it is. The future value of the pension—in an amount proportionate to marital buildup.

Our easy-to-use, well reviewed and popular divorce settlement software makes it easy for you to save your clients time and money. It’s a platform you can use to market your services – and to deliver better advice to your clients, without having to hire a forensic accountant.

To learn more about our divorce software for attorneys, call us at 800 905 7638.

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Divorce Settlement Tip #5: Lump Sum Settlement

Lumping It Together

There isn’t a piece of software available to soothe or resolve the raw emotion and drama of most divorces. Even years after the divorce is final, divorce judgments can be reopened after a change in life circumstances—and spousal support arrangements can be drastically changed, and even eliminated.

Easy Soft’s Divorce Financials doesn’t try to smooth over the associated emotions.

But what it does do is alleviate uncertainty by addressing all of the options, now.

There’s no better example than our lump-sum settlement calculator.

Once you’ve got a divorce settlement figure on the table, we strongly recommend running it through Divorce Financials’ lump-sum calculator.

Based on the income data already captured, the software already knows each party’s income tax rates. So in seconds, your client can have another viable option—one that incorporates the built-in certainty of an upfront settlement figure.

Even if your client wants to pay or receive alimony over a course of time, the lump sum calculator provides food for thought. Without it, your client’s in the dark about the benefits of avoiding the potential future drama of court hearings, recalculations, and re-encounters with his or her former spouse.

Our easy-to-use, well reviewed and popular family law software makes it easy for you to provide more solutions than your competitors. It’s a platform you can use to market your services—and to deliver better advice to your clients, without having to hire an accountant.

To learn more about our divorce software for attorneys, call us at 800 905 7638.

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