Family Law Practice Tip – Equitable Distribution and Alimony Spreadsheets
Note to the reader: If you are a colleague who would like the Excel Workbook described below, just write me at email@example.com . This is a recent “Dear Colleague” newsletter that I sent out.
If you are not a family law lawyer or paralegal, please feel free to delete promptly or forward this to a colleague who is.). Lyne Ranson; Please also consider forwarding to our State Bar Family Law Committee and the attendees at our May seminar. This is a better product than the one I distributed that day.
Friday, a young lawyer asked if I have software for evaluating equitable distribution, as he is considering taking on some family law clients. I sent him this, and, of course, the PDF of my book. I hope they help.
In 1999, the week of my Mother’s final illness, sitting quietly in her room, with NO smart phone technology available, I had the time to plagiarize, but also to rebuild and understand, a spreadsheet workbook created by one of the smartest guys I know, Ross Dionne, now of “Economic Valuation Associates” in Charleston. Note that name in case you need a forensic economist as an expert. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of clients later, it remains my primary tool for identifying, listing, sorting, and dividing, the marital, mixed, and separate assets, and debts, of divorcing couples.
I take my laptop to mediations and trials, and my ability to make changes and calculations on the fly provides to me an advantage I need. Every experienced lawyer has her/his own methods regarding “the stuff”. This is mine.
I use Microsoft Office Excel. This workbook is in Version 7, but it is easily convertible. I learned spreadsheets on a 40 k program called VisaCalc 30 years ago. I am surprised how many lawyers do not use spreadsheets. I think they are fundamental. (Practice pointer: My bright son, John Hunter, insists it is time for me to move to a Mac Air which will now run Windows Office. I need THAT for my iPad.)
Hope you are enjoying our snowy Sunday.
J. Burton Hunter III
From: Burton Hunter
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2013 6:14 PM
To: Young Lawyer Interested in Family Law
Cc: Burton Hunter
Subject: Your Request for my Equitable Distribution and Budget Excel Workbook
Hi (Young Lawyer Interested in Family Law);
Thanks for giving me the chance to clean up and share my Equitable Distribution Excel Workbook.
Note that this one assumes you are representing the wife as petitioner. I need to have four forms. Two each for wife and husband, as Petitioner and as Respondent. But, it takes only 5-10 minutes to change the headings..
WARNING, always give the workbook a new name at the beginning and save it first. Don’t save your client’s workbook over the template.
Thanks to your request, I will also share this workbook with my “Dear Colleague” mailing list.
1. I give credit for this format to Forensic CPA Ross Dionne, and all blame for its shortfalls to myself.
4. There are five sheets to the workbook:
d. Sheet 4 is The “Consolidated Financial Affidavit” sheet is the one I file to supplement the Supreme Court Financial Affidavit that we filed with the Petition or Answer. It does NOT have the proposed equitable distribution. Usually it is more detailed and accurate than the one we put together at the beginning.
If you are comfortable with Excel, this may work for you, but remember:
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This post was written by Burton Hunter