The Lawyer Tab

The Lawyer tab features a subset of the data and reports from the Planner and Negotiate tabs, especially collected and organized to match the needs of the family law attorney’s office.

We will refer to this as the Lawyer tab, although if you have indicated that your profession is "Mediator," the name of this tab will change to read "Mediator." Everything is the same except the name on the tab itself.

In addition, for certain states, we have the state specific financial forms, which are available only on the Lawyer tab. 

Once the state of filing is specified, the appropriate child support and financial forms will appear on the left, if we have them.

Any data you enter on this tab will carry to the appropriate fields on the Planner or Guidelines tabs, and vice versa.

Each state has child support guidelines and financial affidavit forms that are unique.

What we will do is describe those items that are common across all states, and then point out aspects of specific states that are unique.

Lawyer Tab - Flow of Data

It is important to understand the flow of data on the Lawyer tab.

The software is designed for you to enter information on the Form Info, Income, Expense, Asset, and Liabilities screens.

On these screens, you will see that the entries are black type on a yellow background.

That information then flows "downstream" to the following places:

All of the entries on the financial affidavit and the child suport guideline worksheet will then be calculated, based on this information.

Calculated fields appear in blue type on a light blue background.

You can override a calculated field simply by typing over it.

If you override an entry on the financial affidavit or guideline worksheet, that will be fine for purposes of calculating the other entries on the guideline or financial affidavit.

However, an overridden entry on the financial affidavit can not flow "upstream."

So if you override an entry on the financial affidavit, it will not affect the tax calculation, child support, or anything else in the software.

Sometimes, this may be exactly what you want. You may want the number to be different on the financial affidavit that it is in the tax calculation, but the report, and other financial computations.

But if you want to change a number and have it be effective throughout the software, you need to change it in the initial data entry screens – anywhere where the change is not an override.

Lawyer Tab - Help Buttons

Throughout the software, you will see little blue "help" buttons.

We strongly suggest that you click those buttons where you see them.

The message will typically be brief, but often will answer exactly the question you had in mind. We know this because we write these buttons to answer questions about that particular item that come in through technical support.

Lawyer Tab - Child Support - Key Support Data

On this screen, you enter key items that determine the child support result. The child support amount appears at the very bottom of the screen.

The support amount updates with every entry, so you can be on the phone in an initial client consultation, open this screen, and give a ballpark response to the amount of child support applicable.

Here are some entries you will make on this screen:

If you want to see the child support calculation in a different state, on the Key Support Data screen, you may click the button labeled "State" in the upper right hand corner of the screen. This will allow you to select any other state, and then the software will calculate child support for that state.

Note that you do not have to enter every item of data at first.  The software will always compute results based on whatever data has been entered so far – even just a single number for wages. 

Note: By default, the calculated child support amount will flow to the Budget Report and other financial reports. But you can turn that off. Go to the Support/Alimony screen, and clear the checkbox that says to use the calculated value.

Lawyer tab - Child Support - Children

On this screen you will enter more information about each child.

If each parent has primary custody of one or more children, then you have a split custody situation.


The way to indicate this is to specify a different primary custodial parent for different children.

In several states, the software will automatically calculate child support in the split custody situation.

Typically, you have to check a box to indicate that you want the split custody calculation to apply.

California. In California, the calculation depends solely on the percent of time spent with each parent. There is no separate split custody calculation.

Colorado. In Colorado, the software will automatically do the split custody calculation if you click the split custody checkbox on the Children screen.

Connecticut. In Connecticut, the software will automatically do a split custody calculation if there are different custodial parent. You will see this on the View/Print Guideline screen.

Florida. In Florida, you check the box to indicate that you want the split custody calculation to apply. You then specify which of the several methods you wish to apply. The child support result under each method will appear at the bottom of the screen. Also, when you go to the view/print guideline screen, the child support guideline calculations for that split custody method you have selected will appear.

Illinois. The software automatically calculates child support for the children in custody of husband, the children in custody of wife, and offsets the two amounts begins each other. You see this worked out on the View/Print Guideline screen.

New Jersey. In New Jersey, the software will automatically do the split custody calculation if you click the split custody checkbox on the Children screen.

New York. In New York, the software does not do a split custody calculation. You have to calculate child support using only the children in the custody of one parent. Then calculate child support using only children in the custody of the other parent. Then manually net the two numbers.

Ohio. In Ohio, the software will automatically do a split custody calculation if there are different custodial parents. You will see this on the View/Print Guideline screen.

Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the software will automatically do a split custody calculation if there are different custodial parents. You will see this on the View/Print Guideline screen.

Lawyer tab - Child Support - Income

On this screen, you will typically find several subtabs at the top.

Wages

The first subtab is Wages.

On this screen, the wages that you entered on the Key Support Data screen are there.

But you can also add additional wages and specify that the wages are self-employment income.

If the wages are self-employment income, then FICA and Medicare will not be calculated for those items. Instead, there will be a tax added to the federal income tax called "Self Employment Tax."

Wage-Like Income

The next header is Wage-Like income.

This features a number of specified income sources and requests a monthly entry.

If you do not know the monthly amount, click your cursor in the entry and then click the [#] button that pops up.

That will give you a time period calculator.

To the right of each entry is a checkbox labeled "nontax." Check the box if the item is not taxable. You will see that several items that are known to be nontaxable are already checked.

At the bottom of the screen, there is a place where you may write in entries.

Business Etc.

On this screen, you enter income from assets, or income that is associated with assets.

One category of this income is business income, where the business is an asset that generates income. (You can also enter self-employment as wage income and check the "self-employed" box. If the business has no value, these two are equivalent as far as the Budget Report and cash flow and net worth projections are concerned.)

You would also enter income from rental properties, income from investments and bank accounts, and pension income.

These are all examples of assets that generate income.

In the software, it is good to enter the asset and the income from the assets in the same place.

For one thing, if you ever delete the asset, the software will automatically delete the income that flows from it, thus helping keep you correct.

Also, you can enter a percent of cash flow to a party. The software automatically allocate the remaining cash flow to the other party.

For business income and rental income, the percent of cash flow can be different than the division of ownership of the asset.

For investment income and pension income, the cash flow is allocated in the same percent as ownership. So specifying the percent of cash flow causes the ownership percent to be specified, and vise versa.

With respect to investment income, you would enter either here, or on the Investment screen, but not both. If you entered on both screens, that would be double counting.

When you allocate the property, that will change the allocation of income. If the property is allocated to the husband, the husband will get the income that flows from the property. If the property is allocated to the wife, the wife will get the income that flows from the property.

These income flows will not only flow to the affidavit, they will also affect the child support and tax calculations.

The effect of this is that, if you allocate the property later on, the income might change, and the child support result might change as well.

It is important to be aware of this effect.

If you want to change ownership of properties without changing the tax for child support or affidavit results, one thing you can do is to save the file under a different name, and then do your property allocations in the new file.

Another thing you can do is to use the guideline what if and equitable distribution what if screens that are available in the "What If & Equitable Distribution" section of the Lawyer tab.

Investment

On this screen, you can enter investment income without the associated asset.

This is a "quick and dirty" way of entering investment income.

One effect of this approach is that the income is not associated with the investment asset. So if you later allocated the investment assets to a different party, the dollars of investment income do not change.

Alimony

If spousal support is a factor in the computation of child support, there will be a subset here for spousal support income.

It will typically featured the income from a prior relationship, and, depending on the state, may also include income from spousal support from the current relationship as well.

Worksheet

In many states, there will be a final tab called "Worksheet."

This screen shows the computation of net income for child support purposes.

You may override the entries on this screen, and that will affect the computation for child support, but we do not encourage overriding entries on this screen.

We often find that people have forgotten that they had overridden entries on this screen, and then they are confused when entries on prior screens do not affect child support.

The flow of data is from the other data entry screens to the Worksheet screen, and from there to the child support guideline calculation.

If you override an entry on the Worksheet screen, that overridden entry will carry forward to the child support guideline calculation. but it will not carry backward to the other data entry screens.

Lawyer tab - Child Support - Deductions

The deductions screen and its subtabs show each of the deductions related to the child support calculation.

Because the deductions vary widely from state to state, the tabs at the top of the screen will also vary from state to state.

Health insurance

Most states have a deduction for health insurance.

In most of those states, the deduction is only for the child share of health insurance.

The software offers two ways to calculate the child share:

1. Prorating the total health insurance; or
2. Entering the child share directly.

If you choose the prorating option, the software will figure out the number of children covered and the total number of people covered.

For example, if there are two children, the software will typically assume that there are three people covered – these being the two children and the party who is paying the insurance.

The children's share would then be two thirds of the total.

Instead, you may wish to enter the difference between the individual and the family plan. This can not be calculated automatically by the software. If you want to take this approach, indicate that you wish to enter health insurance for the children directly.

The amount that is not for the children will be counted as being for the parent.

Real Estate

In States in Which the Federal Income Tax Deduction Is a Calculation for Child Support,

In states in which the federal income tax is a deduction for the calculation of child support, there will be a section for real estate.

The goal of this section is to calculate the mortgage interest deduction, and to provide a place to enter the real estate tax.

The software is able to calculate the mortgage interest deduction automatically, if you enter the current payment (principal and interest only), the current mortgage balance, and the current interest rate.

This information is readily available on a current month mortgage interest statement.

The advantage of this is that the software will calculate current mortgage interest, not last year's mortgage interest. This is important, because mortgage interest is a significant component of federal taxes, and you want to be using current year numbers, not prior year numbers.

One caveat: this works only if the mortgage will not have any future rate adjustments. That is, the mortgage either is a fixed rate mortgage, or it is an adjustable rate mortgage that has already have all of its adjustments.

You can also directly enter the anticipated property tax amount. Notice that you will be asked to enter the property tax monthly. Typically, you will know the property tax quarterly or annually. The enter it annually, click the [#] button that will appear next to the entry. This will pop up a time period calculator, and you can enter an annual amount.

Taxes

This screen shows federal income tax, state tax estimates, and other taxes that are deductible for child support purposes.

There are things on the screen that you can click to get a detailed look at the calculations.

For federal income taxes, you will see that we have essentially a full 1040 form available.

Child Care

Many states have a deduction for child care expenses.

In many of those states, there is a reduction of the deduction for the federal child care credit.

You only have to enter the child care expenditure.

The software will automatically calculate the federal child care credit, if it applies, and make the reduction.

Again, the software is calculating the current year credit, which is what you want. Situations change and incomes change, and the prior year child care credit may not be accurate for the current year.

Others

Any other deductions will be entered on this screen.

Worksheet

In some states, there is at the last subtab a worksheet that shows how the child support deductions are totaled.

You may override the entries on this worksheet, but it usually leads to confusion.

We suggest that, instead of overwriting entries here, you go back and override the entries on the other screens, where the entry field is a user entry (not calculated).

Lawyer tab - Child Support - Alimony or Maintenance

In states where alimony or maintenance is calculated by formula, there will be another screen labeled Spousal Support, or Alimony, or Maintenance.

These states include: California, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

California. In California, you simply specify the spousal support County. Once that is done, the software will calculate the spousal support amount. At the bottom of the screen there is a detailed audit trail to see exactly how the calculation was done. you can also use this to prove that you're calculation is being done correctly.

Colorado. In Colorado, the subtabs allow you to see how the statutory maintenance, under the statutory effective January 1, 2014, is calculated. The software shows the calculation of both duration and amount.

Florida. In Florida, the subtabs allow you to see how alimony under the proposed alimony bill that did not pass in 2013 is calculated. This shows both the proposed calculations for duration and amount.

New York. In New York, the subtabs show how temporary maintenance is calculated. You can also see the percent of total income that is devoted to support and maintenance. You can also calculate duration. If you do that, you can then see the present value of the proposed maintenance amount.

Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the calculation of alimony pendente lite is worked out on the child support guideline worksheet. You can see this calculation on the Worksheet subtab. If the custodial parent has higher income than the noncustodial parent, the software will automatically calculate the higher income custodial parent alimony amount.

Lawyer tab - Child Support - View/Print Guideline

This screen shows the official child support guideline worksheet for the state.

The calculations are done completely automatically, based on entries on the previous screen.

It is not necessary to make any entries on this screen.

If you override the entries on this screen, the number that you enter will carry forward on this screen and will be printed.

But it will not carry the overrdden entry "upstream." What we mean by that is that it will not affect the tax calculation, budget, or any what if calculations.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit

Family Law Software allows you to enter information for your financial affidavit in 10 states. These states and the key financial forms are:

Although each state is different, the approach to entering data is very similar across states.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Footnotes

You may enter a footnote for any item where you see the [fn] link.

Footnotes typically will print with the line item.

This is a great feature of the software. It allows you to create compelling financial statements and make your points clearly to the judge.

With footnotes, you have the following options:

The software has one footnote for each item.

Where the action is an asset, there is not a separate footnote for income or expense of that asset.

For example, if the item is a business, real estate property, investments, or pension, you can footnote the asset, but not the income or expense from the asset.

So the footnote will appear in the asset section, but there is no way to have the mortgage footnoted separately, or to have income from an investment footnoted separately.

This is a limitation of the footnote capability.

Connecticut and Florida. In Connecticut, and on Florida's short form, if you wish to have a footnote print with the Financial Affidavit, you should enter that footnote directly on the face of the affidavit.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Background & Child

On the Background & Child screen, you can specify the following information:

Click the "more info" link, and you will see other contact information, as well as employment information and contact information for the employer.

If the person lives in New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey, and works in a different one of those states, you can also specify the state where the person works.

The software will automatically calculate the state tax in the other state and credit in the state where the person lives.

If you would like to complete a financial affidavit for another state, click the button labeled "State" in the upper right hand corner of the Background & Child screen. This will allow you to select any other state, and then the software will fill in the financial form for that state.

Be sure to specify which party is the husband and which party is the wife.  This matters for those states where the child support or financial affidavit forms have column headings for “Husband” and “Wife” or “Father” and “Mother.”

For same-sex couples, it does not matter which is husband and which is wife.

Notice that the state where the party lives can be different than the state where the action is being brought.

The state where the party lives is used to determine the state tax table to use.  The software has tax tables for all 50 states programmed.

In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, you may click the "more info" link to specify whether local tax is applied and whether the person works out of state.

At the bottom of the screen, you can enter information about the children.

With respect to the children, entering the date or year of birth tells the software several things about the child:

The software always starts with the assumption that the mother claims the exemption for the child and will be the recipient of child support.  However, by clicking on the mother's name you may change this easily.

If you click the "more info" link for the child, you'll see additional options, including the ability to specify that the child is not a child of this relationship, and that the child explicitly does or does not qualify for child support.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Form Info

The Form Info screen is the place to enter all information for the financial affidavit other than income, expenses, assets, and liabilities for the current and future years. That is, you can enter information for the header, employment information, information relating to the other party, and information relating to prior years.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Income & Expenses

On this screen, enter income and expenses for the current year.

At the top of the screen, you will see sub tabs. While these subtabs vary a bit from state to state, the following discussion will apply generally.

To the right of each line you will see a link labeled "more info" and one labeled “fn."

Click the "more info" link in order to specify information about that expense going forward into the future.  Also, on the “more info” screen, you may change the tax categorization of the item if you wish.

Click the “fn” (“footnotes”) link in order to create a footnote that will appear on all of the software's financial reports.

Income & Deductions

On this screen, enter wage income and those deductions that relate directly to wage income.

Notice that wages that you entered on the child support screens appear here, and vice versa.

You also enter possible payroll deductions.

We call them "possible" payroll deductions, because items such as health insurance, dental insurance, and child care, are sometimes payroll deductions, but sometimes not.

Health insurance, for example, is sometimes a payroll deduction, and sometimes just a personal expense. In the software, there is only one entry for health insurance. So how does the software know whether it is a payroll deduction or a personal expense? That is determined by the specification of Tax Category.

The tax category is typically shown on the same line where the health insurance or dental insurance is entered. But if you do not see it there, click "more info" on that line.

If you select a tax category of "FSA, Flex, Caf Etc." that indicates that the health insurance is a flexible spending account or cafeteria plan. This is a payroll deduction. It is also deductible for the FICA/Medicare calculation.

If you select a tax category of "Pay Dedn - Not FSA," it is also a payroll deduction. But it is not deductible for the FICA/Medicare calculation.

If you select a tax category of "Self-Employed Health Insurance" it is also a payroll deduction. But it is not deductible for the FICA/Medicare calculation.

Most states' affidavits have a section of income and payroll deductions at the top. For any of these tax categories -- "FSA, Flex, Caf Etc.", "Pay Dedn - Not FSA," or "Self-Employed Health Insurance" -- the health insurance flows to that top section.

If you select a tax category of "Medical," though, the health insurance will be a personal expense. It will count as an itemized deduction. It is not deductible for the FICA/Medicare calculation. And it will carry to the living expenses section of the affidavit, which is further down.

Nonwage Income

This screen is very similar to the nonwage income screen for child support.

This screen has several views.

You see these at the top of the screen.

The links, which you see at the top of the screen, are "Click here for [party name]", "Click here for [other party name]", or "Click here for Both Parties."

If you have selected one party or the other, you will be able to enter each on a weekly, or monthly, or annual basis. This is a great convenience. No more converting from one time period to the other. The software will automatically convert to the other time periods and to the one that is needed for the Affidavit.

Is you are simply entering information for a party, it is best to use this view, where you have selected a party (that is, not the "Both Parties" view).

Please be careful that you are entering information on the screen for the correct party.

The background of the screen for the male party will be pale blue. The background of the screen for the female party will be pale pink. These colors are intended only to help you be reminded of which party's information you are entering.

If the party is a same-sex couple, the background color of the screen for the first party entered will be correct for that party's gender, and the background color of the other party will be the other color.

This is simply a random assignment. But since the first party entered tends to be your client, the result will be that in most cases the background color for your client will be the correct color.

If you are in a situation where you are entering information for both parties, such as a mediation or a collaborative situation, you can click the link at the top of the screen to switch to the other party.

If you are using the software during a mediation or at a collaborative meeting, you may then wish to switch to the view where you are seeing both parties side-by-side (the "Click here for Both Parties" link at the top of the screen).

In this view, only the monthly number will appear.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Assets & Liabilities

On the "Assets & Liabilities" screen, enter information about each asset and liability, such as the current value, category of investment, etc. 

You may create as many assets of each type as you wish, simply by clicking the “Add” button under each asset type.

Two asset types merit special mention, namely real estate and pensions.

For real estate, you also enter the mortgage balance, monthly payment, and interest rate, and you select the mortgage payer.  Based on just this information, the software is able to estimate the amount of the mortgage interest payments this year that is deductible for Federal income tax purposes. 

For pensions, if you click the "more info" link, you'll find a screen there with information that will enable you to value the defined benefit pension.

For Cash & Investments and Debts, several states have "Asset Type" or "Debt Type" entries. These entries help specify where the asset or debt will carry on the financial affidavit.

 

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - Support / Alimony

On the Support / Alimony screen, you enter the child support and alimony amount that the software will use in the Budget Report and other financial statements and projections.

If the software calculates child support for your state, the software will fill in the Child Support amount.

However, you may clear the check box that specifies that the software's support amount will be used, and you may enter your own child support amount.

On the line for spousal support, you will see that, as you enter spousal support, the software immediately and automatically calculates the present value of that stream of spousal support payments.

The software shows the discount rate it is using.  By default, it uses a recent 20-year treasury bill rate.  You may easily type in a different discount rate if you wish.

In addition, you may also click a link on this screen to specify a property settlement, in which property is transferred over a period of up to six years.

Lawyer tab - Affidavit - View/Print Affidavit

On this screen, you can preview the affidavit and print it, if you are in one of the states where we have the financial affidavit.

If the Affidavit has several pages, you will see a list of pages with an option to select the ones you wish to print.

At the top of the screen, you will see options with respect to printing, which vary from state to state.

The following notes relate to state-specific aspects of printing:

Florida: On the Florida Affidavit, in the assets section, there are two columns that bear further explanation. 1. "Check the box next to any assets which you are requesting the judge to award to you." The software will check this box if you have allocated the asset completely or in part to the party. Allocation is done on the Equitable Distribution screen, or on the "more info" link for the asset. 2. The "Nonmarital" box. The software will check this box if you had specify that the appropriate party has any separate property in the asset. You specify separate property on the "more info" for that asset.

New York. When printing the New York Net Worth Statement, the software determines where the page breaks will go. You can control this a little bit. At the top of each page, there is a checkbox to determine whether there will be a page break before that date. If you have a big blank page before a new section, you can clear the checkbox at the top of the new section. Also, you can fuss with footnotes to make them slightly longer or slightly shorter. You can not control fonts or margins.

 

Lawyer Tab - Equitable Distribution & What If

Once you have entered the parties’ data, you may move on to this section, Equitable Distribution and What If, to help the clients with property division, and making decisions about spousal support, and child support, and tax issues such as filing status and exemptions.

 

Lawyer Tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - Equitable Distribution

The Property Division screen allows you to perform an equitable distribution for clients very easily and effectively.

This screen can make your practice more profitable by helping clients get to agreements more quickly.

At the outset, the screen lists each item of property that you have entered.

As you enter an allocation for each asset, at the top of the Property Division screen, you see the overall property division that results from this allocation.

You may than change the percent or amount of each item of property that a party will keep.

You may use this screen to quickly reach an overall property settlement that is most acceptable to the parties.

At the top of the screen is a link for options. One of those options is an option to show an equalization amount.

That equalization amount is the number of dollars needed to switch between parties in order to reach an overall division of 50/50.

You can also aim for any overall division that you wish, 60/40, 30/70, etc.

This is very useful.

As you enter property allocations, that equalization amount will update, based on the property that has been allocated so far.

Once all the property has been allocated to one party or the other, you can change the allocations in order to get that equalization amount down to zero.

 

Lawyer Tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - What If Eq Dist

This screen allows you to ask "what if" with respect to equitable distribution.

What is great about this is that you can ask what if without changing anything your actual data.

To create a new scenario, click the "Add Scenario" link at the top of the screen. You may create as many scenarios as you wish.

You may copy information from any existing scenario to the new scenario. To do that, click the "Copy"link at the top of the column.

Then you may change one or more items of information in the column. The results are shown at the top of the column.

This is useful in that it enables you to ask "what if" not only with property allocations, but also with the values of property items.

If you wish to move one column to the location where another column is currently sitting, click the Swap button.

If you wish to just show a few of the scenarios you have created, swap them with the first couple of scenarios and hide the rest.

If you wish to make one of the scenarios "Actual," swap it with the first column.

You may also print or PDF any individual column by clicking the Print or PDF button at the top of the column.

When a column is printed this way, it prints the fully expanded version of the property division scenario.

 

Lawyer Tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - Guideline What If

This screen allows you to ask "what if" with respect to child support guidelines.

What is great about this is that you can ask what if without changing anything your actual data.

To create a new scenario, click the "Add Scenario" link at the top of the screen. You may create as many scenarios as you wish.

You may copy information from any existing scenario to the new scenario. To do that, click the "Copy"link at the top of the column.

Then you may change one or more items of information in the column. The results are shown at the top of the column.

This is useful in that it enables you to ask "what if" with incomes, exemptions, health insurance, and other inputs to the child support calculation, without changing any of your actual data.

If you wish to move one column to the location where another column is currently sitting, click the Swap button.

If you wish to make one of the scenarios "Actual," swap it with the first column.

If you wish to just show a few of the scenarios you have created, swap them with the first couple of scenarios and hide the rest.

You may also print or PDF any individual column by clicking the Print or PDF button at the top of the column.

When a column is printed this way, it prints the fully expanded version of the child support guideline worksheet.

Lawyer tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - He Said / She Said

This worksheet allows you to enter assets and each party's value of the asset.

It is useful simply to show the different valuations each party may have of the assets.

For each asset, you may enter a description of the asset, one party’s value and valuation date, the other party’s value and valuation date, and the value you wish to use on the property division (equitable distribution) worksheet.

Any asset that you enter here will be only be available on the property division worksheet and on the financial affidavit.

Lawyer tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - Alimony Breakeven

The Alimony Breakeven screen shows the amount that the alimony recipient would have to receive in order to exactly break even after all expenses and taxes.

As you are aware, alimony is taxable to the recipient, and so that the initial amount of alimony that would be needed to cover the deficit needs to be increased for additional tax to be paid.  And it needs to be increased again for tax on that additional alimony.  And so on.

The number shown on this screen has all of that calculation built-in.

If the alimony recipient is already breaking even or better, without any alimony, there will be no amount on this screen.

It is important to note that this screen does the calculation only for the current year.

Lawyer tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - What If Analysis

The What If Analysis screen enables you to ask "what if" for up to three scenarios side by side.

You may very any of the following common decision factors:

To create a second scenario, click the link labeled " Show Another Trial."

The most effective way to use this screen is to create two identical scenarios, then change just one factor.

For example, create two identical scenarios and then change just the spousal support and child support amounts.

Or, create two identical scenarios and change just who claims the exemptions.

And so on.

There are a number of options for this screen, which you can view if you click the link at the top of the screen labeled "Click here to set "What If Analysis" Options."

One option is the option to show “cash available for living expenses” as well as “after tax cash” in the bottom half of the screen.

Another option is the option to have the software continually keep child support and spousal support updated with changes to the actual numbers. 

(If you do not select this latter option, child support and spousal support are purely “what if” numbers, and they do not change at all unless you manually change them.)

You may enter up to 12 different columns.

Lawyer tab - Equitable Distribution & What If - Alimony Calculator

If The Alimony Calculator figures out how much alimony a recipient would need in order to reach a target.

There are four possible targets. You choose one of these targets, and the software calculates the amount of alimony needed to reach that target.

You may click "show another column" to have a second scenario side-by-side. You may show up to 12 columns.

You may click the link labeled "Expanded Report" for a detailed report. This report includes information on the tax impact of alimony in each scenario.

This report is essentially identical to the report in a program called FinPlan. So if an attorney or judge asks for a "FinPlan Report," this is the place to go.

 

Lawyer tab - Financial Results

The Financial Results section offers several reports that illuminate the financial situation for the parties and the judge.