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Tag Archives: NJ family law software
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.
One of the challenges of producing software for attorneys is that laws change. Our commitment to our customers includes keeping all of our products up to date with changes to local, state and federal laws. For example we are keeping a close eye on the New Jersey Supreme Court since they are reviewing changes to the state’s child support amounts and that will affect our Case Information Statement software.
The court is considering a proposal to change New Jersey’s child support laws to reflect how families really spend their money by looking at spending over a 12-year period from 2000 to 2011. We all know those years were an economic rollercoaster and present a microcosm of how a family’s needs change as the economy goes from boom to bust to recovery.
You might expect that the recommendations would result in an across-the-board increase or decrease in child support, but it’s not that simple. In some cases the recommended rates go up and in some they go down. One thing analysts have noted is that the proposed child support for two children is not much higher than it is for one child since the studies show a second child doesn’t increase a family’s costs by as much as you might think.
The new rules won’t directly affect Case Information Statement preparation. The form will be filled out the same way but the consequences will change. Attorneys used to the old schedules will need to use NJ family law software to prepare scenarios using the new rates. The balance between alimony and child support is likely to change. The new law could have a profound effect on divorce settlements.
If the court approves the proposal then we will release an updated version of our New Jersey divorce software to reflect the new tables. This will be a free update available to all of our customers.
Our commitment to staying on the cutting edge of changing spousal and child support laws is one of the many reasons so many people use Easy Soft attorney practice management software. If you aren’t an Easy Soft customer, contact us to find out why our products are used by over 15,000 happy customers.
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.
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.