Tag Archives: new jersey cis

Calculating Last Year’s Income in NJ Divorce Software

Accurate income records are essential to child support calculations. Complicated tax forms or employment situations can make it difficult to gather the information needed but, by using CIS, NJ lawyers can simplify the process. The process depends on how the couple filed their taxes last year.

Individual Tax Returns

Couples often separate before seeking divorce. During this time they are living independent lives, earning independent incomes, and incurring independent expenses. In this case all the attorney needs to do is get each person’s income and tax records.

In the Case Information Statement software under Part C, Section 1 you’ll see two buttons: “Income/Tax Calc” and “Tax Allocation”. For individual tax returns, click “Income/Tax Calc” to open up a dialogue that allows entry of each spouse’s W-2 forms. You can enter wages and taxes from up to three W-2 forms for each spouse, as well as entering the tax refunds for each person.

If either spouse earned significant income from sources other than W-2 salaries then you will need to use the Joint Tax Return method below even if they filed separately. This income could include self-employment, alimony from a previous relationship or pensions.

Joint Tax Return

The couple might have filed a joint tax return because they were still living together or for other reasons. In theory you could still use the procedure above, entering each spouse’s W-2 forms and the total state and federal taxes paid or refunded. However doing so will split taxes paid and refunds equally between both spouses. This might be an acceptable estimate if they both made roughly the same salary but won’t be accurate if their incomes differed.

A better option is to click on the “Tax Allocation” button to open up a dialog that allows you to enter detailed information from the joint 1040 form. Although this form is more complicated, it doesn’t take long to fill out and will give a more equitable distribution of taxes, by dividing taxes based on each spouse’s income percentage. The data will automatically be transferred to the New Jersey CIS for accurate child support calculations.

Features like these income calculators are one of the reasons you want to use dedicated legal practice management software rather than trying to use generic financial software. We have worked with our attorney clients to add the features you need to simplify and automate your practice. Find out more about CIS’s extensive features by exploring our website.

Posted by Amy Prokop on in Divorce Financials, NJ Family Law Software, Other | Comments Off
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Case Information Statement: NJ Divorce Nightmare?

Clients are often surprised how much paperwork is involved in a divorce. Although as a family law attorney you are used to the CIS, NJ divorcing couples are often overwhelmed by this huge and detailed form. You can use software to help you complete the form more quickly and easily, but you also need to be prepared to lead your clients through the dark forest of CIS preparation.

Educating Your Clients

Try to think back to the first time you completed the New Jersey CIS. It never seemed to end. You filled out page after page of figures, made more difficult by clients who don’t really know how much they spend on food every month and who’s idea of balancing their bank accounts is “I can’t be out of money; I still have checks left”.

Today you know the CIS is a key aspect of a New Jersey divorce, but to your clients it’s just a ridiculous piece of government paperwork. It’s often a good idea to explain to a new client what the CIS is and why it is so important to the divorce negotiation. After all, if the client doesn’t take the form seriously then you can’t trust the information provided.

Streamlining The Process

Modern CIS preparation is much easier due to affordable and easy to use Case Information Statement software. Enter information on income, expenses, assets and more and have the program automatically fill in the form. Prepare multiple support worksheets in a matter of minutes, finding the ideal agreement for your client. Generate other forms from the same data so you don’t have to enter any information twice.

Software can also make things easier for your client. Easy Soft’s Case Information Statement software includes an optional cloud application that allows your clients to enter financial information through a secure online portal. They can start out providing easily accessed information, like income or mortgage payment, right away. Then after they have a chance to track spending, they can provide other information such as food costs. Filling out the form piecemeal can make it less intimidating.

Like all of Easy Soft’s attorney practice management software, CIS is backed by 25 years of experience providing software solutions to the legal industry. Try it risk-free for 30 days. If you aren’t satisfied with the software then we will provide a full refund.

Posted by Amy Prokop on in Divorce Financials, NJ Family Law Software, Other | Comments Off
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Defending Reduced Self-Employment Income

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.

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How To Handle Split Parenting Without Getting A Splitting Headache

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.

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You Can’t Put Off Figuring Out Deferred Compensation

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.

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How Can I Reduce My Alimony Payments?

Alimony in divorces is, in theory, fair to both parties. However the amount calculated is based on a snapshot of both parties’ financial situation. Using a Case Information Statement, NJ courts look at the incomes and assets of the spouses to determine an alimony amount. What if circumstances change?

First of all, not just any change will lead to a modification of alimony. In the past New Jersey courts have reduce alimony in cases of decreased income, retirement, illness or the payee’s cohabitation with another partner. It has to be a life change that would affect either the payor’s ability to pay or the payee’s need for support. However listing a reduced income in a New Jersey CIS is only the start of the process.

Is the change permanent? Retirement is likely to be considered permanent as would some kind of long-term disability that affects the payor’s ability to work. Is unemployment? As a rule, no, you can find another job, but if the payor can demonstrate a permanent downturn in that person’s professional industry then it could be considered a permanent change. Even the term “permanent” is a relative phrase. After all marriage is considered permanent in the eyes of the law, but there are a lot of divorce attorneys out there who know permanent doesn’t always mean forever.

Is the change involuntary? Some payors will quit their jobs or under-employ themselves in hopes of reducing alimony only to find the judge rules against them. Judges know about these attempts to deliberately manipulate the system and will not rule in favor of an alimony change just because of a reduced salary on a Case Information Statement.

Has the payor made an attempt to remedy the situation? For example an out of work spouse must show evidence of an active job search. Sitting home and collecting unemployment while watching game shows on TV is not grounds to reduce alimony.

Alimony reduction is difficult. The burden of proof lies on the paying spouse and judges tend to need very strong evidence in addition to the New Jersey CIS form to grant the reduction.

New Jersey family law attorneys need every advantage to get an alimony reduction for a client, and that means using the latest generation of NJ family law software. Contact Easy Soft to find out more about how our products not only simplify your practice but give you the best chance to help your clients get what they deserve.

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