I recently received the following request from a California family law attorney asking about the use of the “B” key in the Dissomaster™ software for calculating child and spousal support.
I would appreciate some guidance regarding the following:
When calculating an amount for permanent spousal support, how do you quantify the 4320 factors? We have a temporary child and spousal support amount per the DissoMaster; however, I need to propose a permanent spousal support amount. Can the DissoMaster “B-key” be used to calculate permanent support? If so, how do you enter the “B-key”?
Just press the “B” on your keyboard.
The “B” key does not have as great of an impact on spousal support after IRC §11051.
I can understand wanting to find a simple way to modify guideline support in an attempt to estimate what permanent spousal support would possibly be and some attorneys have previously employed the “B”-Key in DissoMaster™ to provide this estimate. However, even though the “B”-Key previously treated spousal support as non-taxable to the recipient spouse and non-deductible by the payor spouse thus reducing the calculated amount of spousal support, now that spousal support is only deductible (and taxable) in the state of California, the utility of this approach has evaporated.
The Court will have to analyze and make findings on each of the factors contained in Family Code §4320 to determine long term or permanent spousal support.
For settlement purposes, many practitioners now use a discount of between 15% to 25% to convert the guideline spousal support to permanent.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.