Multiple Families and the Case Information Statement
It’s not uncommon for a divorce to not be a payor’s first and there may be child support obligations from previous marriages. New Jersey law says that the way to handle this is to subtract the previous child support obligation from the payor’s income, since this money is not available for payment. While this is easy to do with CIS, Easy Soft’s New Jersey family law software, it’s not necessarily fair to all children.
Harte v. Hand
In December 2013, the Appellate Division ruled in the multiple child support case, Harte v. Hand. This case involved three children, each with a different mother. The ruling indicated that later born children should not be penalized by receiving lower support just because they are the product of a later marriage. The Appelate Division suggested a more complex formula for determining fair child support and, though this formula is not state law, the case could be used as a precedent for future divorces should the case end up before a judge.
The solution suggested in Hart v. Hand says the attorney should complete a CIS for each child, with the support orders for the other children entered into line 2b. Then the attorney should average all the CIS child support calculations to come up with a fair amount.
Applying the Formula with Case Information Statement Software
This calculation is much easier with Easy Soft’s CIS software because Worksheet Magic allows attorneys to create multiple child support worksheets easily. Consider two children, A and B. Start by creating a worksheet for Child A using the standard formula, with any support obligations for Child B entered in line 2b. Then create a worksheet for Child A using Child B’s support obligations in line 2b. Average the two support calculations to determine how much Child A should receive. Then repeat the process, starting with Child B and then swapping with Child A, to determine how much Child A should receive.
This calculation is long and tedious when done by hand, but CIS New Jersey divorce software can put out the worksheets in minutes. This arrangement is not only fairer to the children and the payor, but the worksheets will provide the paper trail needed to convince an opposing attorney or a judge that this is the right amount.
Technology gives your family law practice the advantage over attorneys who are still doing things the old fashioned way. Check out our complete line of law practice management software to find new ways to improve your practice’s profitability.