WE HELP FAMILIES RESOLVE CONFLICT PEACEFULLY


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Waiting in line for the new iPhone? There's no wait (and no cost) to download our Apps!

Today, June 24, 2010, the day of the iPhone 4.0 release, many, many Apple devotees are waiting in line, no doubt playing games, checking e-mail and surfing the web on their 3GS until they get their hands on the newest iPhone. Well, whether or not you've braved the lines to be the first to have the new device, you can still download the Kelsey & Trask, P.C. Web-Apps and iPhone Apps. (see the end of this post for instructions on how to access these apps on other smartphones as well)

iPhone Apps:

The Child Support Calculator App

Use this worksheet to calculate the presumptive amount of child support to be ordered by the Probate & Family Courts in Massachusetts based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (including all of the calculations required for filling out the court form). You can then save your calculations, and even e-mail them.





Must have app for Family Law Attys - ★★★★★
Review by Mass Attorney

Must have app. Quickly calculate child support according to the guidelines and try different income scenerios.


The Divorce Spousal Support Calculator App

Some states use formulas to calculate presumptive alimony. And notwithstanding the lack of legislative support, some Judges in Massachusetts have suggested doing the same. A Joint Task Force of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association has prepared a draft report which also suggests a formula to calculate the maximum alimony award possible.



All of these formulas are included in this calculator, which we believe can be a valuable resource in helping parties understand a reasonable potential range of spousal support orders.


In addition, you can access the full Article (The Divorce Spousal Support Calculator: An Alimony Formula Resource and Tool for Computing Suggested Alimony Payments in Divorce Cases) directly from the App by clicking on the Settings button in the lower left-hand corner of the App.

Similar to the Child Support Calculator App, you can also save and e-mail your calculations.







The Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator App

The means test is a test required under the new bankruptcy law to determine a debtor's eligibility to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. If your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in some cases, creditors have the right to file a motion requesting that the Court dismiss your cases under Section 707(b) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Use this App to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy under part a of the Chapter 7 Means Test. You can even save or e-mail your calculation to access it later. If your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, you still might meet part b of the means test after taking into consideration certain expenses and deductions as defined by the Bankruptcy Code. You should consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility.


Web Apps:

These three Apps are also available as Web-Apps and can be accessed directly on our mobile site or through the Apple Web-App Store.

The Child Support Calculator Web-App
   - Direct Link: http://mobile.kelseytrask.com/childsupport.htm

The Divorce Spousal Support Calculator Web-App
   - Direct Link: http://mobile.kelseytrask.com/spousalsupport.htm

The Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator Web-App
   - Direct Link: mobile.kelseytrask.com/meanstest.htm

In addition we have a recently created fourth web-app:

The Chapter 7 Timeline Calculator Web-App
   - Direct Link: mobile.kelseytrask.com/7timeline.htm

The bankruptcy court is very strict regarding deadlines. Often, missing a deadline will result in the dismissal of your Bankruptcy Case. Therefore, it is very important that all documents are filed accurately and on time with the Bankruptcy Court.

This App displays approximate dates for deadlines and events in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case when you enter a filing date. These dates are subject to change by amendments to the U.S. Code, or may vary due to local rules or practices or even due to the specific facts of your case. If you have any questions you should consult with an attorney when reviewing this timeline.


Don't have an iPhone, that's okay too. Whether you are an Android, Blackberry or other smartphone user, you can still use all of our great calculators in your web-browser on our mobile pages designed just for smartphones. Just visit m.kelseytrask.com or mobile.kelseytrask.com on your mobile phone and you should see a page that looks something like this:



Monday, June 21, 2010

Is No-Fault Divorce a Good Thing? It may soon be the law in all 50 states.

According to a New York Times article, the New York State legislature recently approved legislation that would allow No-Fault divorces in New York. The state of New York is the last state that still requires one spouse to have committed a wrong (or at least to take the blame) for the dissolution of a marriage.

Many, including the Roman Catholic Church, oppose the change because they believe it will raise the divorce rates in New York. Interestingly, the divorce rates in New York, though low compared to all 50 states (ranking 33rd), are still higher than a state like Massachusetts where No-Fault Divorce has been the law for more than thirty years (3.4 per 1000 people per year in New York vs. 2.5 per 1000 people per year in Massachusetts according to StateMaster.com).

If No-Fault divorce doesn't cause a rise in divorce rates, then what is the impact?

According to a New York Times op-ed column, there are potential advantages a. The advantages include an 8-16% reduction in wife's suicide rates and a 30% reduction in domestic violence (according to a University of Pennsylvania report by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers). In addition, the ability of one participant to end the marriage can change the bargaining power in the relationship causing both partners to change how they view the marital relationship. This could cause either party to invest less in the marriage, or could cause both parties to be more attentive to unhappiness in the marriage.

A valuable impact of allowing no-fault divorce, though, can be the ability of more couples to use mediation. Because neither party needs to accept fault, they are more likely to try and work out their differences with a mediator than litigate their case. Increasing the number of mediations could be the single-most positive impact of no-fault divorce, because, as one study found, mediation increases the likelihood of settlement, improved co-parenting relationships between parents, and improved the relationship of non-custodial parents and their children.

Sounds like it's about time New York joined the other 49 states in offering a No-Fault option.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What do Divorce and the World Cup have in common?


The answer is Goals! But not the goals you're thinking of.

I heard an interesting theory on why the United States will never compete with the top soccer teams in the world on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd . Colin's theory is that kids in the U.S. have too many other options. The best athletes in the U.S., for the most part, grow up to play football or basketball or baseball. In contrast, the best athletes in other countries all grow up to play soccer.

The United States is an underdog in the World Cup because our best athletes don't play soccer (no offense to Landon Donovan but he's no Lebron James).

What does this have to with Divorce? Well, life is all about priorities and goals. U.S. athletics, parents, and children have not made soccer a priority and so, not surprisingly, we are not as competitive as countries where soccer is king.

A Divorce is also all about goals as well. The things that you choose to focus on and make the most important will be reflected in the outcome of your divorce. Are you focused on making sure that your children will experience the least negative impact possible, or are your focused on how much money you will have after the divorce? Are you focused on whose fault the divorce is, or are you focused on what your life will be like after the divorce?

Although, these types of questions are not legal questions, knowing your priorities can help you decide how your divorce case should proceed. I always ask my clients what their goals are, before I try to tell them what I can do in their divorce case. Because I need to know whether your goals are realistic, and also because your goals could change how I handle your case. If you don't tell your attorney or your mediator what is most important to you, don't be surprised if you are unhappy with the results of your divorce.

Similarly, don't be surprised when a country that makes soccer a priority wins the World Cup.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Access to Justice: New Procedures in Probate & Family Court

On March 15, 2010, the Chief Justice of the Probate & Family Court released uniform Probate and Family Court Scheduling Practices and Procedures.

These procedures include certain requirements intended to promote predictability and uniformity of practice for the scheduling of all types of hearings in the Probate and Family Courts throughout the Commonwealth. The practices include mandatory scheduling of a next event and other requirements intended to keep cases moving forward.

One of the changes is to the Motion scheduling practice. Although some courts, such as Plymouth Probate & Family Court, previously allowed for scheduling of Motions at the discretion of the litigants (within the Notice rules), other courts, such as Norfolk, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties, only allowed for scheduling of Motions by the rules of their individual trial departments. According to the Chief Justice's new procedures:

"There shall be no restrictions on the number or timing of motions which
may be filed except as set forth above regardless of the nature of the underlying
complaint..."

The exception is that the First Justices shall have discretion, with the approval of the Chief Justice, to limit the marking of Motions. "Any limitation on motion sessions approved by the Chief Justice shall be posted in the division (Registry of Probate and courtrooms) and on the web site of the Probate and Family Court."

This should result in greater consistency throughout the counties, something probably more noticeable to attorneys than individual litigants. In the counties that used to limit the number of Motions, this will also result in getting into court more quickly (usually something desired by clients).

There is a downside though as well. At a recent Motion session in Suffolk which I attended with a client, there were 76 Motions scheduled. Luckily we were number three, but I would hate to be number 76. Although you might get into court a week or two before you otherwise would have, you should plan to be there all day.

Hopefully, as the courts get used to the new system these overloaded days will be less likely. Either way, I believe consistency of procedure among the counties is a good thing. Access to Justice should be the same no matter where you live.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...