Divorce courts use the financial information of each spouse to determine fair spousal and child support levels. The New York Statement of Net Worth is the document used in divorces in that state and it is, frankly, a nightmare. Accuracy and completeness are important, but who makes sure the form is correct?
In theory it’s your client’s burden. Yet in practice when faced with the document, many people just freeze up. Trying to put a price tag on a life is hard, even without the added emotional burden of dissolving a marriage. The attorney needs to stress that New York state spousal support is based on the information on this form so the client is motivated to do everything possible to complete it.
Then the onus shifts to the attorney. The first big step is to put this mass of information into your New York divorce software. We make that job a lot easier with SupportNYlite. Your client enters all the data needed into an electronic form, and then you import that form into EzSupport-NY with a click.
At this point, once again in theory, you look over the form and check it for accuracy. But what are you looking at? It’s hardly practical for you to expect the client to provide verification of every expense or asset listed. You have to take the client’s word for it. And yet an error can end up hurting the client’s settlement.
However you can look over the information and conduct a little internal sanity check. It’s a lot easier to view the NY net worth statement using software so you can flip through the pages, knowing all the calculations are correct, and keep a practiced eye out for red flags. Make case notes that won’t appear on the final printout to draw attention to odd entries on the form so you can ask your client about them. After all, better you catch a mistake than the opposing counsel.
Finally you can generate various support worksheets. If the values don’t seem right–experienced family law attorneys usually get a feel for how support numbers should look–then it’s time to go over the data more carefully before generating the final form.
Easysoft law practice management software may not be able to make the Statement of Net Worth fun, but it does make it faster to generate and easier for you to review. Find out more about how our software, specialized to the needs of New York divorce attorneys, helps you get your clients the settlements they deserve.