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What If Analysis

Negotiate > What-If Analysis

This is a very useful screen that allows you to ask “what if” about all kinds of things relating to the financial settlement.

First, set the key assumptions that will apply to all scenarios.

These are entered at the top of the page and include who pays child support and who pays alimony (which may be called spousal support or maintenance, depending on the term used in your state).

Then, specify whether we should assume child support and spousal support start at the beginning of the year, or not.

Setting it to start at the beginning of the year will give your results as they would be during a full year of child and spousal support payments.

Setting it to start when it actually starts will show you the actual results for the current year.

There is no right way to do it. Set it to reflect the result that you want.

Creating What If Scenarios

To create a What If scenario, click the link in the middle of the screen labeled “add scenario.”

The new scenario will start populated with the actual child and spousal support amounts, actual wage amounts, and actual exemptions.

You may then change this.

You will see the results at the bottom of the screen.

At the top of each column you will see a couple of links.

The link labeled “hide” will hide that scenario.

The link labeled “clear” will clear the numbers from the scenario.

You may create as many scenarios as you wish.

Showing multiple years

You can show the results for multiple years as follows:

Click the link at the top of the screen to set what if analysis options.

On the screen that appears, under the heading “Specify Result to Display,” select one of the multi-year projection options.

Showing the graph.

The software can show a graph of gross incomes, and incomes after child support, alimony, and taxes.

The two columns on the left show each party’s gross income.

The two columns on the right show income after child support, alimony, and taxes.

This is a very helpful chart, which can show the impact of child support and alimony on leveling the two parties’ incomes.

We show the graph only if there is just one scenario.

If you enter two or more scenarios, we can not show the graph.

Expanded Report

If you wish to show more detail, click the link located immediately above the results toward the bottom of the page, labeled “Click for Expanded Report.”

This report is also known colloquially as the FinPlan report, because its format was introduced by a product called FinPlan, which is no longer available.

Things About Which You Can Ask What If

To see the things about which you can as What If, click the link at the top labeled “Click here to set What If Analysis Options.”

Most of the way down that screen, you will see a heading labeled “Specify Items About Which to Ask What If.”

You will see that you can as ask about children’s expenses, who pays the mortgage, wages, child support, spousal support, and more.

When you click the Back button, each box that you check will be shown on the What If Analysis page.

Children’s Expenses

Please be careful: if you ask What If about children’s expenses, and those expenses are blank on the What If screen, they will be calculated as zero in the What If calculation.

If those expenses are blank, the What If calculation will not use the actual expenses that have been entered.

So if you want to ask What If about children’s expenses, be sure to enter the numbers that you choose in each of the children’s expense lines.

Who Pays Mortgages

If you asked What If about who pays the mortgage, please be sure to enter the percent paid by the party shown.

Otherwise, the software will assume that the mortgage is paid 0/100, by one party.

Updating Child Support with Alimony

In some states, if you change alimony, child support changes.

This is because the child support calculation is based in part on the alimony calculation.

By default, the software will do this, if you are in one of those states.

If you do this, you cannot use actual child support in the What If calculation.

If you choose to use actual child support in the What If calculation, then we cannot update child support when alimony changes.