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New Jersey Family Law
The practice of law keeps the paper industry in business. Well, not so much anymore since practices use so many electronic records, but the industry certainly generates an enormous number of documents. The most common of these, of course, is the mighty Case Information Statement but in addition to the CIS NJ family law attorney generate dozens or even hundreds of other forms.
If you have to generate these forms manually then you have the opportunity to make embarrassing typos. It’s amazing how all the spellchecking and manual proofreading in the world still manages to miss that one error that can make your practice look foolish or even jeopardize a case.
To some extent you can get around this by using pre-designed forms. All you have to do is fill in the blank on a word processing document or PDF file and the rest of the text is generated automatically. However manual data entry still creates the opportunity for mistakes.
This is why we created the FamilyDocs module for our Case Information Statement software. This add-on gives our users access to over 130 documents such as retainer agreements, business letters and responsive pleadings. All documents are published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education so you know they are accurate, professional, and customized to New Jersey legal practices.
These documents are designed to pull data from NJ divorce software case files so you don’t have to enter information twice. This saves time as well as minimizes the chance of data entry errors. The module includes its own spellchecker so you don’t have to run the letters through third-party software for verification.
You aren’t limited to our forms. Modify any of the documents included or create your own. Generate forms customized to the needs of your particular practice, and then distribute them to everyone on the team so your firm puts out consistent and professional-looking correspondence.
Automation, simplification and error reduction are three key components to all Easy Soft legal practice management software. Visit our website to review our entire line of products including real estate software, family law and general legal software.
Although the waters of divorce are well charted, family law attorneys know they need to keep a careful discovery journal along the way. Since divorces are so contentious, the discovery process is essential to presenting a judge with an accurate picture of marital assets. In addition to using software to help complete the Case Information Statement NJ family law attorneys can use the tool to track the discovery process.
Careful discovery documentation can be more important than the actual documents being requested. Let’s say you request a document and the opposing attorney does not produce it in a timely manner. When you show the judge the discovery motion, backed by data from your NJ divorce software discovery log, then the opposing attorney’s case becomes weaker.
For the same reason, you need to stay on top of discovery requests to avoid hurting your own client’s case. For example you probably know that if you receive an “admissions of fact” and don’t return the document within 30 days, then that will be considered by the court to be a tacit admission that the statements are all true. “Oops I forgot” isn’t going to go over well with the judge.
Tracking discovery by hand in a single divorce case can be a paperwork nightmare. It’s easy to overlook one request or not aggressively pursue requests to the opposing attorney, and that means you can’t present the best case possible for your client. Multiply that by a dozen simultaneous divorce cases and it’s nearly impossible to keep up without using New Jersey matrimonial software.
Easy Soft’s Case Information Statement software includes an integrated discovery log. You can easily track requests made and received by your practice, each request categorized by case, document type, request date and more. Unlike a paper log, you can link each discovery entry with the actual electronic document stored on your computer or your practice’s network.
An attorney must work diligently to produce the best case possible for a client. In today’s fast-paced, information-heavy world that is impossible without high quality legal practice management software. Don’t work at a disadvantage. Incorporate the latest electronic technology into your law practice right away.
One of the challenges of producing software for attorneys is that laws change. Our commitment to our customers includes keeping all of our products up to date with changes to local, state and federal laws. For example we are keeping a close eye on the New Jersey Supreme Court since they are reviewing changes to the state’s child support amounts and that will affect our Case Information Statement software.
The court is considering a proposal to change New Jersey’s child support laws to reflect how families really spend their money by looking at spending over a 12-year period from 2000 to 2011. We all know those years were an economic rollercoaster and present a microcosm of how a family’s needs change as the economy goes from boom to bust to recovery.
You might expect that the recommendations would result in an across-the-board increase or decrease in child support, but it’s not that simple. In some cases the recommended rates go up and in some they go down. One thing analysts have noted is that the proposed child support for two children is not much higher than it is for one child since the studies show a second child doesn’t increase a family’s costs by as much as you might think.
The new rules won’t directly affect Case Information Statement preparation. The form will be filled out the same way but the consequences will change. Attorneys used to the old schedules will need to use NJ family law software to prepare scenarios using the new rates. The balance between alimony and child support is likely to change. The new law could have a profound effect on divorce settlements.
If the court approves the proposal then we will release an updated version of our New Jersey divorce software to reflect the new tables. This will be a free update available to all of our customers.
Our commitment to staying on the cutting edge of changing spousal and child support laws is one of the many reasons so many people use Easy Soft attorney practice management software. If you aren’t an Easy Soft customer, contact us to find out why our products are used by over 15,000 happy customers.
Divorces often turn ugly, and the two things the couple fights about the most are children and money. Child support involves both so can be the biggest stumbling block in a settlement. New Jersey family law attorneys on both sides put a lot of effort into Case Information Statement preparation to be sure the child support determined is fair.
However it’s often not over after the first decision. Changes in either parent’s life can require a new Case Information Statement to reflect the current financial reality and a judge can rule that child support needs to be raised or lowered. Loss of income is one of the most common reasons for the noncustodial parent to request a reduction in child support payments.
In a typical job, the parent has little control over income. However, self-employed parents will sometimes attempt to manipulate the system by deliberately lowering the number of clients or projects taken, thus reducing income. The parent shows up in court claiming poverty, asks for a reduction in child support, and then takes more jobs in the future.
But what if the reduction in income is real?
This strategy is so common that family law judges view reduced self-employment skeptically. Nevertheless industries change, economies fall, and hard-working business owners find themselves unable to generate as much revenue as before. The burden of proof falls on the self-employed parent which is why it is so important for attorneys to carefully document everything that appears on the New Jersey CIS.
Family law attorneys use New Jersey matrimonial software to do more than simply complete the CIS. They can link documents proving their client’s entire industry has been in a slump. They can present multiple support scenarios to find the support situation that is not only fair to the client but in the children’s best interest–and it is easy to forget that in the end it’s about the kids and not the parents.
In theory, self-employed parents are supposed to be treated the same as traditionally-employed parents. In reality, they often aren’t. That may not be fair but it is the truth, and a family law attorney has to be prepared to prove beyond doubt that a client’s reduction in income is unintentional. Use law practice management software to gather and organize the information you will need to best represent your client’s interests.
Post-divorce child custody is not what it used to be. Fifty years ago custody was simple: mom gets full custody and dad visits every other weekend. Easy, though not necessarily fair. Today’s custody arrangements are much more complex and New Jersey family law attorneys may have to spend many hours preparing multiple support scenarios to find an agreement acceptable to both parties.
The first step is completing the required state paperwork and Case Information Statement software is a big help for attorneys, allowing them to put together this long form in a fraction of the time it would take them by hand. In a simple custody case that is the end of it, but many custody cases are not simple.
Split-parenting custody arrangements can complicate the matter of determining the custodial parent. If the kids live the majority of the time with one parent then it’s pretty safe to assume that person is the custodial parent, but what if they divide their time equally between the two houses? The support payments may differ substantially depending on which parent is named the custodial parent.
It’s even possible for both parents to be custodial parents. If little Johnny lives with Dad and little Sally lives with Mom than each parent is custodial to one of the two children. So who gets the child support?
Easy Soft’s New Jersey divorce software allows attorneys to calculate fair and equitable child support even in the most complex support scenarios. They can back the support amounts with hard data, which will make it easier to convince a judge or the other parent that this arrangement is in the best interest of all parties.
On the other hand there is often not one right answer to child support. Attorneys can use our NJ family law software to come up with multiple scenarios. Which party should be named custodial parent? You can figure that out in less than a minute! Prepare a worksheet, copy it, switch the custodial and non-custodial parents with the click of a button, and *poof* you have two scenarios that can be compared at a glance. In fact you can evaluate up to five child support worksheets simultaneously to find the best arrangement.
Child support decisions don’t necessarily end with the New Jersey CIS. Attorneys need the tools to calculate and analyze multiple support options to find the best arrangement for their clients and, of course, for the children. Contact Easy Soft to find out more about how our attorney practice management software helps you helps your clients.
If divorces were easy, then a lot of attorneys would be out of business. The “add it up and divide by two” split seldom happens in real life. One situation that gives family law attorneys headaches is trying to figure out how to list deferred compensation on the New Jersey CIS.
Deferred compensation is a benefit given to an employee such as company stock. What makes it deferred is the employee doesn’t get the full value of the asset up front, but rather over a period of years. For example an employee might get 20% of the value of the stock option per year for five years. When the attorney goes to list this in the Case Information Statement software, how should it be listed?
If the asset is fully vested, meaning the employee could cash it in for its full value, then it’s simply an asset. Typically that means it’s divided equitably between the spouses like any other asset that can be assigned a simple monetary value. The compensation often can’t be transferred to the other spouse so the earning spouse might “buy” that asset with another asset, or set up a trust to handle the bookkeeping.
What if it is partially vested? Do you split it all or only the vested portion? Probably neither since the other spouse shouldn’t be entitled to either none or all of the non-vested portion. Attorneys will use an equation to determine what is fair for each spouse, but each attorney is likely to come up with a different number.
Here’s another problem: if you list the compensation as an asset then you can’t also consider it as income when calculating child support, even though it’s listed on the earning spouse’s W-2. Maybe it would be better to treat it as income.
This is a perfect example of why today’s attorneys need fully-featured New Jersey family law software, such as Easy Soft’s CIS, that allows them to create multiple asset/income scenarios and evaluate them under that state’s divorce laws.
What if you come to the bargaining table with a set of offers but the opposing attorney has different ideas? If you are using the cloud version of the NJ matrimonial software you can evaluate the offer right there and even come up with a counteroffer within minutes. This gives a speedy resolution that is in the best interest of all parties.
To best represent your client’s interests you need to use dedicated legal software for attorneys that is designed to meet not only the needs of your area of practice but the laws of your state, and CIS does just that. Download a demo and discover how easy we make New Jersey divorce settlement.