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Family Law Software can calculate child support guideline amounts in 21 states.

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Question: What are the changes in the 2015 Connecticut Guidelines?

Answer: Here are the changes in the software that are included in the 2015 Guidelines.

We will divide them into changes mandated by the new law and changes purely to improve the software.

Changes mandated by the new law.

The following are changes in the guideline software that are mandated by the new guideline statute:

1. Net Disposable Income. Alimony paid by one of the parents to the other is no longer added to the net income of the receiving parent, or deducted from the net income of the paying parent, in the calculation of net disposable income, for purposes of calculating unreimbursed medical and child care contribution amounts. You see this on line 23 of the 2015 guideline worksheet.

2. High-income cases. There is a new provision for a minimum and a maximum in high-income cases. The software now shows both the minimum and the maximum on the Income > Wages screen. We let you choose what amount you wish to show on the Guideline Worksheet, line 16. On line 16, if a high-income situation applies, the text will reflect which method you chose to use.

3. New deviation criteria. If the Total Child Support Award is more than 55% of the obligor's net income, the court may consider this as a deviation criteria. If the court decides to reduce the Total Child Support Award to 55% or less, it can reduce the arrearage payment, medical payment and/or the day care order but not the Presumptive Child Support Amount. The software shows on line 35 whether or not the Total Child Support Award exceeds the 55%, and, if so, computes the amount by which the award exceeds 55% of the obligor's net income. This is not part of the official form, however, so it does not print.

4. New guideline table. The software incorporates the new guideline table. You can see the table on the View/Print Guideline > Rules screen.

5. Arrearage payments, Box C. In the Box C case, the arrearage payment amount increases from 50% to 100% if the parents have no present duty to provide support to the child. You can see this on the Children > Arrearage screen.

6. Medical Expenses. It is now an option to specify the dollar amount of medical expenses, to be issued as part of the child support award. The software helps calculate what this amount should be, based on either party's or both parties' current medical spending levels. You have the option to use this number, another number, or no number. You find this on the Children > Medical screen.

7. Child Care Expenses. Same as medical expenses, but for child care. You find this on the Children > Child Care screen.

8. Downward modification. New checkbox to indicate that this is a proceeding seeking a downward modification (etc.). The law provides a circumstance where prior relationship alimony and child support would not be deductible in such a proceeding. The help button on the screen at that location explains in more detail. This is on the Deductions > Other screen.

9, New form. We have implemented the new form, which has changes in the sections relating to imputed child (line 12), the medical expense (line 33) and child care expenses (line 34). It also has a new "totals" box where the different components of child care can be totaled. The official form uses "Parent A" and "Parent B." The Family Law Software form uses the parents' names, which we think will be more clear to parties, attorneys and judges.

Changes in software.

The following are changes in the guideline software that we implemented purely to improve it.

1. Pay period. The default pay period is now "monthly." This change has been requested by users.

2. Arrears. We have reorganized the Children > Arrears page to be more clear. All the user entries are grouped together at the top.

3. Help buttons. We added numerous help buttons to explain provisions of the new guideline and to clarify how the software works.

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