Lifestyle Analysis: How Do You Value Someone’s Needs?
In a divorce financial settlement, attorneys and their clients must come to an agreement on an appropriate level of alimony. However each spouse’s need and ability to pay is not necessarily an easy calculation and the agreement is hampered by the level acrimony on both sides. Few negotiations have as much hostility as a divorce financial settlement so an objective method of alimony calculation is essential.
Attorneys use the concept of “lifestyle analysis” to determine fair divorce financial settlements for their clients. This task involves examining each party’s bank and credit card statements to evaluate their true needs rather than their claimed needs. Unfortunately when each party uses different methods to evaluate and classify transactions, the result is two very different support amounts.
Attorneys can use law office management software to standardize lifestyle analysis for both parties. Using this type of application removes much of the subjective evaluation inherent in a divorce financial settlement and facilitates the process of reaching a support agreement.
Lifestyle analysis should be performed early in the divorce financial settlement process. When both parties present support figures at the beginning of negotiations, there is more time to reach an agreement before reaching the courtroom. Any deal that can be made quickly saves time and money for all concerned.
Lifestyle analysis software is important in any divorce financial settlement but is especially valuable when one party is self-employed. Unfortunately in an effort to “win” the negotiation, a self-employed individual will sometimes underreport income in an effort to appear poorer to the court. By looking at actual expenses over the preceding year, the court gains an accurate and objective view of what the person’s real income and expenses are.
Attorneys should always use the best legal software they can find when working with a divorce financial settlement. Trying to use generic financial or spreadsheet program introduces variations and discrepancies that could be challenged in court. Law practices face this issue in any kind of case, not just divorces, so should limit themselves to dedicated law office management software even if it costs a bit more than generic solutions.
Use Easy Soft’s divorce financial settlement solutions to give your clients the best chance to get what is deserved during alimony negotiations.