Tag Archives: 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.
We all have to start somewhere. Technology is making it easier than ever for attorneys, even new ones, to strike out on their own and form solo practices. You may find that the actual practice of law differs from what you learned in school, but Easy Soft can help by providing the NJ family law software you need to navigate the system effectively.
Going It Alone
It’s helpful to have a mentor when starting out, which is why so many new attorneys join big firms instead of founding solo practices. This way they receive valuable advice in Case Information Statement preparation from experienced attorneys who have been handling divorces for years. After working in a firm for a few years, then the attorney might go out and practice independently.
However this isn’t necessarily the best path for everyone. Some attorneys work better in a solo office. Others might not want to deal with the politics of a large firm. For that matter, it’s always possible none of the firms are hiring. For one reason or another, an attorney fresh out of law school might open a practice. You may be solo, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. We have the tools you need.
Help From CIS
Easy Soft Case Information Statement software helps new attorneys navigate the form that is central to divorces in New Jersey. It makes it easier to gather and enter information on the case. It takes care of the addition and subtraction. It offers an organized method of tracking all the couple’s assets and liabilities. The calendar, task list, case notes and discovery log help keep the case organized.
The software provides advanced tools as attorneys become more experienced. Lawyers find it easy to examine split parenting cases, or varying child support scenarios, or debt service calculations. Its functionality increases as the attorney’s experience grows.
In addition to CIS, Easy Soft offers a host of other attorney practice management software designed to organize and streamline any law practice. Both new and experienced attorneys will find our products save time and money, multiply productivity, and let lawyers be lawyers instead of office managers. Explore our site to find out more about our products designed exclusively for the legal industry’s need.
Many divorcing spouses in New Jersey ask themselves, “Do I need a divorce lawyer?” As a family law attorney yourself you know the answer is yes. Even if the split is amicable and the couple agrees on everything, completing the Case Information Statement NJ state law requires is a nightmare. An experienced attorney simplifies this process. However what if one or both of the spouses doesn’t have the financial resources necessary to hire a lawyer?
I Can’t Afford an Attorney
If a couple is already struggling then the financial burden of a divorce will make the situation worse, and adding attorney fees on top of that may just bring the financial house of cards crashing down. Some may attempt to complete the Case Information Statement themselves but there are few people who have the patience and experience to complete this form quickly and accurately.
Divorcing spouses might turn to pro bono legal services but there are far more people in need than there are available attorneys. In many cases these services can only offer advice on Case Information Statement preparation but can’t offer actual representation.
This is even worse when one spouse can afford an attorney but the other can’t. What are the chances the final agreement is going to be fair?
Lower your Costs Without Lowering Your Profits
As much as you might sympathize, you have a business to run. You have bills to pay and a family to support. You can’t give your services away for free but maybe there’s a way you can lower your rates. If you can learn to work more efficiently, then your costs are lower and you can charge less while still maintaining a positive profit margin.
A surprising number of family law attorneys are still doing divorces the old fashioned way — by hand. That wastes time and resources. New Jersey family law software allows you to complete the paperwork faster and more accurately. With less of your time being spent on each case you can lower your rates. You take more cases each day so your total revenue is the same. Your lower rate allows a wider range of clients to afford your services.
Even if you are a one-person firm, you need to be using attorney practice management software to run a more efficient practice. Download a demo of Easy Soft’s Case Information Statement software and discover how much more quickly — and affordability — you can give your clients the help they need.
The May 27, 2013 edition of Time Magazine has a very interesting article entitled, “The End of Alimony”. The article doesn’t talk about the end of all alimony but rather the end of permanent alimony. It points to a recent Massachusettslaw that eliminates permanent alimony and instead pays alimony for a period of time based on the length of the marriage. This law has triggered a nationwide discussion on alimony reform, including New Jerseybill A3909 that might affect Case Information Statement preparation.
The Time article presented both sides of the argument. In favor of alimony they pointed out that some spouses–and in our society this mostly means “wives”–give up their careers to stay home and care for the kids. After a divorce it’s not easy for these people to simply jump back in the workforce. Years of not working means they don’t have the skills, and despite laws prohibiting age discrimination it’s still a lot harder to start a career in your 40s or 50s than in your 20s.
The rebuttal is that alimony might be necessary but not permanent alimony. Give these people a few years to retrain but then expect the exes to get out and become independent. Even if they can’t get the same jobs they had before, they can still become self-sufficient. They also talk about how much of a burden permanent alimony is on the second wife, who ends up using her income to pay her new husband’s commitment to his first wife.
Our description a huge oversimplification of the issue but we have limited space. I suggest you go read the article yourself. It’s really quite fascinating.
So what is Easy Soft’s position? Pardon me while I chuckle politely and say, “No comment.” We are software developers and this is a discussion for lawyers, politicians and angry exes. We are not going to wade into the contentious issue.
However we are watching the issue with interest. If A3909 passes, will it change the Case Information Statement? We don’t know but we are prepared to modify our NJ family law software to meet the changes. This is true of all of our divorce planning software titles. We make sure to stay on top of the changes in each state so you know you are working with the latest rules and regulations regarding property division, alimony and child support.
This sort of attention to detail is a key element in our philosophy towards law practice management software. Laws change and software has to change with it. If you are not already an Easy Soft customer, try our products risk-free for 30 days to discover how committed we are serving the needs of the modern legal practice.
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.