Every attorney prefers certain methods. You’ve been doing it a certain way and it’s worked until now, so why change? Sometimes that attitude is fine but other times sticking to a traditional method prevents you from embracing new ideas that streamline your family law practice. For example, attorneys in New York have different approaches to the NY net worth statement.
Do It By Hand
There is something satisfying about filling out a piece of paper with a pen. It’s visceral and real. You feel more in touch with the information you are putting down on the page. Of course it’s also slow, sloppy and greatly increases your chance of error. Judges don’t like reading an attorney’s sloppy handwriting, and a scribbled figure — is that a zero or a six? — can substantially misrepresent a client’s assets and throw off spousal and child support calculations.
Sloppy handwriting can be avoided by using a typewriter (yes, they still exist!) but that doesn’t solve the problems of slow and error prone.
Fill Out PDFs Or Word Documents
Maybe you figure you are technologically hip because you use the computer to fill out the forms, but you are simply using templates with blanks for the numbers. You’ve solved the sloppy handwriting problem. You’ve speeded up the process, though probably not by much over handwritten forms. However you still have to do the calculations by hand and it’s very easy to transpose a digit and mess up the math. Then you have an error on the form that you might never notice until it’s pointed out by opposing counsel.
Use Specialized NY Family Law Software
The best option is to use software like EzSupport-NY, which not only has the net worth statement built in but streamlines the whole process of New York divorces. All you have to do is gather the client’s information on assets, liabilities, income and expenses and the program handles the rest. It automatically puts the right numbers in the right fields, does the arithmetic for you, and even alerts you to errors.
Specialized legal software does more than simply fill out forms. EzSupport-NY gives you analysis tools to help you calculate child and temporary spousal support. It generates other correspondence, including customized documents you can create yourself, and all these forms and letters pull information from the client case file so you don’t have to worry about accidentally putting different figures on different forms.