Optimize New Jersey Child Support With Worksheet Magic
Calculating the right level of child support can quickly become complicated. Custody scenarios, tax optimization and PPR income tests mean that there is no one simple answer to child support questions. CIS, Easysoft Legal Software's Case Information Statement NJ-specific software, includes a tool called Worksheet Magic to allow family law attorneys to analyze multiple settlements.
Factors That Influence Child Support
The incomes of each parent and the expenses of the custodial household are two of the primary factors when determining child support. However a number of other factors come into play such as:
Tax Optimization: Alimony is taxable income. Child support is non-taxable. Some divorce settlements will trade alimony and child support so that the recipient gets the same number of dollars per month but in a way that gives a greater tax advantage to one or both parents.
Tax Withholding And Deductions: Related to tax optimization, attorneys must consider each spouse's net income to determine a fair support agreement.
Custody Types: Sole and shared custody agreements will lead to different amounts of child support. Even shared custody agreements will not all look the same, since support is affected by the number of overnight stays in a typical year.
Income Tests: The PPR Household Income test and the self-support reserve test set limits on child support.
Doing Things The Hard Way
One of the worst things a family law attorney can do is simply take the Case Information Statement at face value, crunch some numbers and be done. While this may calculate a reasonable support amount, it doesn't take all factors into account.
However analyzing the different custody and tax issues is exhausting. In the past attorneys would have to use a tool such as Microsoft Excel to set up multiple scenarios, and then flip from page to page trying to determine which the best choice was for the client -- and the kids, of course. It was slow and tedious and ultimately provided a fairly superficial analysis of a complex problem. Luckily New Jersey attorneys have a more powerful tool available today.
CIS With Worksheet Magic
CIS, Easysoft Legal Software's NJ matrimonial software, includes a module called Worksheet Magic. This tool makes it easy to compare up to five settlement agreements side by side. Create a worksheet for a baseline example. Then you can create a new worksheet or copy an existing sheet to use as a starting point. Change factors and see how they affect the numbers.
Split parenting analysis is a simple two-click process: click "Copy Worksheet" to create a new sheet, and then "Flip CP Values with NCP" to swap all values and see how the numbers shake out. Share data with Divorce Financials to analyze the tax implications of different alimony and child support scenarios.
Your clients deserve a detailed and comprehensive analysis of their child support options. You can provide that with specialized software tools such as CIS and Divorce Financials. Download demos of our software to explore these tools for yourself.
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