iGuideline is for Lawyers
Assisting parents in family law matters where child and spousal support are issues means that Lawyers need powerful tools or they and their clients will be at a real disadvantage both at the negotiation stage and also when in Court on contested Applications. This is equally true whether a Lawyer only practices in the family law area, or if they have a mixed practice.
iGuideline is an App that was designed and created by a lawyer for his own use, and for use by other Lawyers who have sought a better solution to assist them in their practice. From the outset of development iGuideline was designed with the following goals:
- that it be as powerful as possible
- that it seem simple to use; and
- that it be intuitive to the point of educating the user about the Guidelines
Child and spousal support is all about the numbers. Not just calculating the numbers, but also understanding the numbers and the final financial situation any given outcome will have for a client.
iGuideline was designed to visually show the user the calculated numbers like the tax savings and increased benefits which factor into the net costs of child care and other Special Expenses, with the added feature that allows users to quickly and easily see how each of those numbers in turn was calculated.
Additionally, iGuideline automatically calculates and prominently displays the Benefits a parent will receive which further helps counsel evaluate the final financial situation the parents will be in with the calculated child support amount.
iGuideline also allows the user to override the percent of s.7 Expenses, and the Table Amounts, for Shared Custody situations where the simple set-off calculation is the starting point for a court considering the proper amount of child support.
That same focus on powerful features was continued in the SSAG Module with the ability to override the starting point “SSAG Guideline Income” to take into account situations where lifestyle choices have impacted a parent’s income (i.e. parents foregoing leisure for overtime work, or a parent only working part-time), or where the Court specifies a different Guideline Income for the purposes of Spousal Support.
Users can also view the SSAG quantum calculations in column or table format depending upon their own personal preferences.
Ease of Use
iGuideline’s ease of use starts with an intuitive navigation area which allows users to access all screens in one or two mouse clicks. Inputs are where you expect them to be, and tax credits and child care deductions are automatically calculated based on user inputs with visual indicators where additional user inputs are required. Numbers that are automatically calculated, like tax credits, can also be easily overridden.
iGuideline “gets out of the user’s way” by not continuously prompting the user to confirm numbers that can be (and are) automatically calculated and which don’t change. This allows users to focus on inputting the numbers that do matter further improving the user workflow and experience.
While iGuideline is set up by default to ensure users do not overlook required inputs, experienced users also have the ability to further improve their workflow though Preference settings.
All these features means that iGuideline is a joy to use.
Intuitive and Educational
With it’s intuitive user interface and informative content iGuideline not only performs the function of a child and spousal support calculator, but it also helps educate users on the Child and Spousal Support Guidelines.
iGuideline’s ease of use means support staff can be quickly trained on how to use iGuideline. This further enhances the ability to create workflows where support staff can perform the initial creation of files (and inputting of information). With files saved in iCloud counsel can quickly access those same files, regardless of which work station they are at (their desktop computer, their laptop, or their computer at home), and make any required updates or changes to the data entered in the files.
Although the Child Support Guidelines were introduced 20 years ago (and the final version of the SSAG 9 years ago in 2008), prior to the release of iGuideline there were only two vendors offering software products which would do all the calculations under the Child and Spousal Support Guidelines. This has resulted in high prices and restrictive licensing which does not service the needs of counsel and which contributes to the increasingly high overhead costs lawyers must incur (Law Society dues, E&O insurance, specialty software, etc.)
In BC and ON the costs of licensing from one vendor is $1,000 per year for one desktop station, with additional stations being $200 each. This means that for counsel who want to have the App on their desktop, their Assistant’s desktop, their laptop, and their home computer the costs would be $1,600 per year.
Because iGuideline was designed and built by a lawyer using the software, it’s licensing was designed the same way the App was designed – with the aim of empowering the user. An annual license for iGuideline is $199 per year, which allows the user to create an unlimited number of files. Users can also install and use iGuideline on all their computers with the same iCloud account. This means that counsel can install and use the App on their desktop, their Assistant’s desktop, their laptop, and their home computer for the annual license fee of $199. Three and 6 month subscription options are also available.
For counsel who don’t have the need to do a lot of calculations in a year, there is also the option of licensing iGuideline on a “per file” basis for $19.99 per file, or less if more than 1 “file” is purchased
Regardless of which license counsel chooses, updates are free.
Just when thought it couldn’t get any better, it does. When a user’s subscription ends iGuideline does not stop working, but rather users can still open, edit, and print their existing files with the exception of the Parents’ names and DOBs, and the calculation year cannot be changed.
Users always have the ability to switch between licensing types (subscription vs. “per file”) depending upon their individual needs and preferences.
To experience iGuideline yourself download the App for free from the Mac App Store, create a Sample File, and start exploring iGuideline’s many features yourself.