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New York Family Law
Family law is one of those legal specialties fraught with emotion. To the client, this is about as personal as it gets and the attorney needs to find ways to help while still making smart business decisions. Divorce settlement software helps attorneys keep the relationship business like.
In 2010 New York became a no-fault divorce, turning the process into a mere financial transaction. Stories of abuse, infidelity and who left the cap off the toothpaste have no bearing on the decisions in the case, yet attorneys know if they are not careful, then they will be listening to every petty problem that existed in the relationship. Attorneys must keep the relationship professional finding that sweet spot between appearing cold and aloof, and becoming the client’s new BFF.
SupportNYLite keeps the client focused on financial rather than emotional matters. Rather than collecting information from the client in person, which is an inefficient use of the attorney’s time especially when every figure on the sheet comes with a ten-minute story, the attorney gives the client a Word document to be filled out at leisure. The attorney imports the form into the NY family law software quickly and efficiently.
Family law attorneys need to eat just like everyone else. However their clients are facing the loss of half their assets and often going from a two-income to a one-income family, so are dealing with their own financial problems. Attorneys who run efficient practices can keep their fees low, while handling enough clients to keep their income high.
Divorce is handled more efficiently using New York matrimonial law net worth software to automate and simplify the process of completing the NY Statement of Net Worth and calculating spousal and child support scenarios. Software allows attorneys to give each case the attention it needs using a fraction of the time manual methods would entail.
Supplement your family law software with time and billing software for lawyers to keep an eye on retainer balances, outstanding invoices and client account balances. You don’t have to be an accountant to use these tools and keep your practices solvent.
When a couple divorces, who gets to claim the kids as tax deductions? The law says whichever party is named the custodial parent (CP) claims the exemption. However the CP has the option of waiving that exemption to allow the non-custodial parent (NCP) to claim it instead. That can be a powerful advantage when negotiating child support.
The question becomes important when the NCP makes significantly more money than the CP. The NCP will gain a larger tax break from each child than the CP will. So why would the CP give up the exemption? Because the NCP offers a boost in child support.
Just because the attorneys use New York child support software to determine what state law calculates child support should be, that doesn’t mean the parents have to accept that amount. If both parties sign an alternative support agreement, then it will supersede the amount laid out under the law.
The NCP could offer to pay a higher child support amount than calculated by the New York family law software in return for the exemption, specifically an amount greater than the tax benefit the CP would get from claiming the exemption but less than what the NCP will get. The NCP gets a big tax break. The CP gets more child support. More money is available for the child’s expenses. It’s a win-win-win situation, and the more kids involved the greater the potential impact.
Attorneys on either side who want to present this deal will need to have the figures to back it up. Using family law software New York attorneys can calculate the value of each offer, allowing both sides to see the waived exemption is in everyone’s best interest.
This is just one of the many ways EzSupport-NY simplifies family practice in the state of New York. Prepare the New York net worth statement, print out customized forms and correspondence, and file cases with a fraction of the effort as doing it manually. Use it in conjunction with our other law firm software products such as Divorce Financials or Easy Time Bill for a full suite of practice management tools for even greater benefits.
Recently a New York court threw out the divorce settlement in the case of David vs. Cruz because, despite the fact both parties agreed to ignore the formulas set forth by the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA), calculations of those formulas weren’t included in the settlement. Divorcing couples still have to fill out the NY Statement of Net Worth and all the other paperwork associated with divorce settlement even if they come up with their own support plan.
The law states that before parents can waive the child support calculated by the CSSA, they have to be presented with those numbers. This means attorneys still need to calculate state-mandated child support just so the parents can say, “No, we don’t want that.”
Frustrating? Sure. A waste of time? Maybe. Required by the courts? Yes.
Let’s be honest: collecting the information required to satisfy the state-mandated formulas governing New York State spousal support and child support is a huge amount of work for the attorneys and the divorcing spouses. Yet you better do it anyhow.
Of course if you use New York child support software you’ll find the process a lot easier. The state formulas can be calculated in a snap, printed out to be included in the agreement, and then completely ignored if that is what the parents want. The software also makes it easy to set up custom support scenarios and compare them to the state formulas.
One reason the state insists on this is it is possible for one parent to bully or trick the other into an agreement that is unfair. When both parents see the numbers calculated by the CSSA formulas they may realize their prearranged agreement is unreasonable.
It doesn’t pay to try to get around the law. Even if you think you’ve found a reason why you wouldn’t need to complete some of the paperwork, it’s not going to hurt to do it anyhow. New York family law software automates and speeds up the process. The attorneys are going to have to gather much of the information anyhow, so they might as well go through the motions just to protect themselves.
If you aren’t already using legal practice management software in your family law firm then download a demo of Easy Soft’s products to see for yourself how our tools help you serve your clients better.
Divorce courts use the financial information of each spouse to determine fair spousal and child support levels. The New York Statement of Net Worth is the document used in divorces in that state and it is, frankly, a nightmare. Accuracy and completeness are important, but who makes sure the form is correct?
In theory it’s your client’s burden. Yet in practice when faced with the document, many people just freeze up. Trying to put a price tag on a life is hard, even without the added emotional burden of dissolving a marriage. The attorney needs to stress that New York state spousal support is based on the information on this form so the client is motivated to do everything possible to complete it.
Then the onus shifts to the attorney. The first big step is to put this mass of information into your New York divorce software. We make that job a lot easier with SupportNYlite. Your client enters all the data needed into an electronic form, and then you import that form into EzSupport-NY with a click.
At this point, once again in theory, you look over the form and check it for accuracy. But what are you looking at? It’s hardly practical for you to expect the client to provide verification of every expense or asset listed. You have to take the client’s word for it. And yet an error can end up hurting the client’s settlement.
However you can look over the information and conduct a little internal sanity check. It’s a lot easier to view the NY net worth statement using software so you can flip through the pages, knowing all the calculations are correct, and keep a practiced eye out for red flags. Make case notes that won’t appear on the final printout to draw attention to odd entries on the form so you can ask your client about them. After all, better you catch a mistake than the opposing counsel.
Finally you can generate various support worksheets. If the values don’t seem right–experienced family law attorneys usually get a feel for how support numbers should look–then it’s time to go over the data more carefully before generating the final form.
Easy Soft law practice management software may not be able to make the Statement of Net Worth fun, but it does make it faster to generate and easier for you to review. Find out more about how our software, specialized to the needs of New York divorce attorneys, helps you get your clients the settlements they deserve.
The New York area has seen numerous extreme weather events lately, events that have jeopardized, among other things, business databases. What would your practice do if you lost all of your client information? Arguably it’s possible to gather the data again but that’s a long process that is going to waste countless hours, and it doesn’t help if you have a New York State spousal support hearing later that the same day.
Manual backups are the most obvious protection. Backup utilities are easy to use and archive information from your practice’s NY family law software onto external media such as DVDs, flash drives or tapes. The problem is if you haven’t moved those archives to another location then the same disaster that claims your computers will destroy the backups as well. Shipping them to offsite storage is a bother and can be expensive.
A number of businesses are turning to online backup solutions. These utilities automatically back up your New York divorce software and other files over the internet to servers located far from your office. They use encrypted transmissions, leading edge data protection technology and redundant storage systems to ensure your data is completely safe from threats such as viruses, hackers and natural disasters. This is often a more flexible solution than manual backups but there is one problem: what if your office computers are destroyed?
In that case your data is safe and recoverable but you have no software to access the files themselves. You have to go through the process of buying new computers and re-installing the software–oh wait, the installation discs were destroyed as well. This takes time you and your clients don’t have.
Luckily there is now a third option: New York family law software such as EzSupport-NY can now be found in cloud versions. This means not only is your data stored safely online but so is the software itself.
In a worst-case scenario your entire office has been destroyed in a disaster. Your attorneys can continue practicing right from their home computers without a break in service. You could have a court date a few hours after a catastrophe and yet no one will even realize there was a problem. You will still have full access to client files while an opposing attorney recovering from the same city-wide disaster has to make excuses about not being ready.
Cloud versions of Easy Soft’s law practice management software protect you from more than just natural disasters. Fire or theft could also devastate your office, leaving you unable to work if you rely on traditional desktop-based tools. Protect your practice and your clients by moving your business into the cloud.
Complete and correct financial information is essential to a divorce case. The NY statement of net worth is the key document used in divorces in that state. Unfortunately this form is long and tedious and both attorneys and clients dread completing it. The secret is to take it a section at a time so it’s not so overwhelming.
EzSupport-NY devotes an entire subset of the interface to the New York net worth statement. First click on the “Case Info” button and enter all of the identifying information regarding the case. Information entered here will be pulled into the net worth statement automatically, so completing “Case Info” first eliminates the need to enter things twice. After completing the case information, click on the “Financials” button to bring up the seven-part net worth form.
Most of the fields on the “Basic Info” tab will have been automatically copied over from the “Case Info” page. Look it over to be sure it is correct and fill in any incomplete fields. Enter expenses on the two “Expense” tabs. Values must be entered on the form as monthly amounts to fit the New York spousal maintenance formula but often clients will provide weekly or yearly totals instead. Use the “Calc” button to enter these values and the software will automatically convert them to monthly amounts.
The “Gross Income” tab contains all sources of income including wages & salaries, dividends, alimony from prior marriages. The “Assets” and “Debts” tabs are where you will find areas to list various securities and liabilities each party possesses either jointly or individually. Finally the “Statements” tab list additional information such as counsel fees or New York State spousal support from previous relationships.
Completing the net worth form with a tool such as EzSupport-NY is easier and more accurate than trying to do it by hand, and now it’s easier still! The cloud versions of our attorney practice management software allow lawyers to take their digital tools with them to the courthouse, a client’s home, a conference room or anywhere else. Add, change or access client case information whenever and wherever you need to.
Download a demo of EzSupport-NY today and find out just how simple the net worth statement can be.