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

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Question: I have been using EasySoft. What do I need to know to start using Family Law Software?

Answer: Here are some key points to know when making the transition from EasySoft to Family Law Software. You might want to print this out and use it as a "cheat sheet."

Case Information Statement

1. Data Entry. Enter the data on the Lawyer tab, on the links labeled "A. Case Info' through "F&G. Statements." Generally speaking, you do not enter data on the link labeled "View/Print CIS." Instead, use the link labeled "View/Print CIS" to preview and then print or PDF.

2. Notes and Footnotes. With EasySoft, you would export a Case Information Statement to RTF (Microsoft Word) format. You would then open it in a word processor and make changes. But that meant that you would not be able to go back to the case file without losing your changes.

In Family Law Software, no export is necessary. Instead, you can make all of the notes that you need right in the case file. Click the links labeled [fn] and [note]. You can write as much as you like in the boxes that pop up when you click those links. They will then print with the line item when you print the CIS.

3. Client Data Entry. Family Law Software makes it easy for clients to enter their data and send it to you electronically. To get started, click Files tab > Client Data Entry. You just enter the client's name and email address, and click the button labeled "Send Email." You might want to send an email to yourself, as if you were the client, to experience the process all the way through.

Child Support

With respect to calculating child support, Family Law Software does a number of things much more easily than they are done in EasySoft. These include the following:

1. Shared Custody. On the Key Support Data screen, enter the number of overnights for each child on the same line where you enter the child. Click the "Calc" button to help calculate the number of overnights. The software will automatically determine whether shared custody applies. You can see this calculation on the Children > Shared screen.

2. ODD. Enter the relevant information on the Children > Other Dependent Deduction screen.

3. Split Custody. On the Key Support Data screen, on the lines where you enter the children, simply specify different parents as "Parent of Primary Residence." The software will do the split custody calculation automatically..

4. Exactly Equal Parenting. On the Key Support Data screen, just click the checkbox labeled Wunsch-Deffler. The software will do the rest.

5. Teenage Adjustment. The teenage adjustment is calculated automatically, based on the birth date you enter on the line where you enter the Child information. There is nothing else you need to do. You can see the calculation on the Child > Teenage screen.

6. Taxes. You can see the taxes on the Deductions > Taxes screen. If you wish to use actual taxes, which the statute actually says is preferred (though infrequently used), override the selection to be "Use Actual 1040" on that page.

7. Support To Use. This is the screen where you indicate the child support and spousal support amounts that will be used in the View/Edit Taxes report, Budget Report, Alimony After Tax report, and other "what if" and negotiation reports.


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