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

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Question: How can I make a presentation using Family Law Software?

Answer: You can follow these steps to prepare an interesting and compelling presentation:

1. Open the Sample Case.

We have a sample case in the software.

Click Files & Settings > Open/Save/Send > Sample File.

Save the file under a different name (Files & Settings > Open/Save/Send > Save As).

2. Prepare Your Cases.

Click the Client Info tab.

You can review the data, and modify it (for example, change the names and addresses and properties to fit locally).

You might want to create the following two cases:

  • A younger couple with a real estate property and the mortgage. Let the wife (to be stereotypical) keep the real estate property, but show that she will not be able to afford it.
  • An older couple with investment assets, retirement assets, and perhaps a defined benefit pension plan. Do a long-term projection that shows that the parties will (or will not) run out of assets.

You might find it easier to start from scratch to create these cases. Then you will know everything that is in there.

3. Print Reports and Screens

Then view the reports (Forms & Reports). And view the Negotiation screens (Analysis & Negotiation).

The following are typically some of the most appealing reports to present:

1. Case where less-monied spouse keeps the house and goes underwater:

  • Marital Property Division: show that less-monied spouse keeps the house.
  • Budget Report: shows that the less-monied spouse may be okay in the current year.
  • Projected Net Income after Expenses and Taxes: shows the less-monied spouse's net income going negative
  • Projected Worth: shows the less monied spouse's net worth eventually going negative.

2. Older couple, case where retirement funds are / are not enough:

  • Property Statement: show all the assets before division.
  • Marital Property division: shows the initial division.
  • Summary Totals Spreadsheet: show assets being drawn down over time.

Other compelling screens on the Analysis & Negotiation tab, which it is really powerful to demonstrate live, include:

  • Alimony PV (or Support PV)
  • Best Exemptions
  • Best Filing Status
  • Alimony Needed. Show how much spousal support is needed to get the parties to a 50/50 division of cash after tax but before living expenses. Show how much spousal support is needed to get the recipient to a target level (dollar amount) of cash after tax but before living expenses.
  • Property Division. Show how you can divide the assets between the parties by percents or dollars. Have the equalizaton payment showing. ( If you do not see this near the top of the screen, click the Options link at the top of the screen and check the box to show the equalization payment.)

4. Prepare presentation.

As you are making your presentation, here are some key points you might wish to make:

1. Detailed financial planning helps parties get to settlement sooner.

Detailed credible financial reports, combined with detailed credible tax calculations, enable the parties to accept the financial projections.

This ability to accept the financial results will help the parties get to agreement through several different avenues:

  • Each spouse typically sees that the other spouse is not as well off as he or she imagined. This reduces bickering over the relative financial situations of the parties.
  • Oftentimes, settlements are held up because one spouse feels financially insecure. A spouse who feels financially insecure, but who the financial projections show will be okay, can see that he or she will actually be okay, and agree to sign the agreement.
  • Settlements may also be held up because the moneyed spouse refuses to provide the level of spousal support that will enable settlement. With credible detailed financial statements, a spouse who is being called upon to provide spousal support may understand that the projected level of spousal support is fair.
  • With respect to property, the ability to see property values on a pretax and after-tax basis, and quickly to see alternatives, enables the parties to get to an agreement with respect to property significantly more quickly.

2. Smarter financial planning makes happier clients.

Sometimes, it may be the unfortunate duty of the professional team to deliver the advice that the standard of living is unsustainable.

It is much better that that advice be delivered at the time of the divorce, so that both parties can make the necessary adjustments.

Credible, thorough reports are essential to getting parties to accept this reality.

Otherwise, one or even both parties may find themselves in serious financial difficulty six months to a year later.

Those parties are the ones who will be most bitter about their representation. They are not going to be the ones recommending you.

On the other hand, parties who feel that they were presented with thorough, credible financial plans at the time of the divorce will be grateful and will be more likely to be recommending you to their peers.

When your attendees see this presentation, backed by these reports, they will usually be very impressed and interested.


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