Canadian Lawyer

June 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 31 of 51

30 LEGAL SOFTWARE SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Forms! Forms! Forms! Completing forms can be a fine art NOWADAYS THERE seems to be a form for just about everything, and family law is no exception. Completing forms can be a fine art, and I tip my hat to those talented people whose day is filled with completing the mountain of paperwork required in a family law practice. This is why ChildView is very excited to intro- duce the new family law court forms module into its fully integrated family law program. As an indispensable tool in a family law practice, the overall goal of the ChildView program is to calculate child support as required by the Child Support Guidelines across Canada, provide robust tools to aid in the determination of spousal support, assist users with the underlying complex- ities of Canada's tax and government bene- fits laws that affect the support calculations, and highlight the financial consequences of support to the affected parties. But on any file, much of the process consists of the completion of the required paperwork. To this end, ChildView has added the new court forms module to its program. Different firms have different protocols. Some legal practices prefer that their lawyers do the calculations so they will become fully conversant with the decisions or choices that went into the calculated results, while legal assistants use the results to complete the paperwork. Others delegate the entire process to legal assistants. The ChildView program is designed to facilitate any allocation of tasks. For some there is the frustration of needing multiple programs or multiple sources to complete a filing. When ChildView decided to add the court forms module to the program, they also committed to providing the complete selection of forms available. They didn't feel that they should cherry-pick what could or should be used. That expertise lies with the users. Accessing all the family law forms directly in ChildView eliminates the need to open multiple programs and transfer informa- tion. Although there are many forms providers out there, ChildView provides a combined solution in one program, using the familiar Microsoft Word format. As well, ChildView has added new screens to gather information common to numerous forms, as only a few select forms ask for the type of information provided by child or spousal calculations or financial analysis. ChildView's vision provides one place to enter all the common information so that it can flow seamlessly to all the forms that require it. While most other document-generating programs allow users to regenerate forms, they don't allow editing after completion. ChildView felt it was important to provide the flexibility to do so. Where possible, the court forms provided in ChildView are pre-filled with common information (e.g., names, addresses, etc.), financial information, and calculated amounts, but all parts of the forms are fully editable either in the ChildView program itself, or outside the program in Microsoft Word or a Word-compatible program. This provides complete flexibility, as users are not locked in once the form has been created. Other programs force users to adapt to their format, but ChildView is designed to work with users and easily integrate into their current process of document assembly. In addition, the completed forms may also be exported to pdf with a simple click of a button to facilitate document sharing or emailing, or for any other purpose. The ChildView court forms module has received an enthusiastic response as well as very positive feedback for further enhancements in subsequent releases. As with any useful tool, it must continue to evolve to address the needs of users. This is just the beginning. Brought to you by Susan Roberts is president of ChildView Inc., a company whose Canada-wide software specializes in child and spousal support calculation and analysis. She obtained her Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from the University of Alberta in 1988 and articled with Gardiner Karbani Audy & Partners, Chartered Accountants. Susan has been involved with the Child Support Guidelines since the first draft was released to the public in 1996 and with the ChildView® software since its inception in 1997. Susan has worked with the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) since the release of the initial draft in 2005, and was part of the development team that designed the SSAG software tool in the ChildView® program. She is involved in all aspects of the company, including research with respect to income tax and government benefits, the Child Support Guidelines, and the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, ongoing workshops for judiciary, justice departments, family law practitioners, and colleges across Canada, the design and development of the software, and contract negotiation. Susan has written a number of articles and papers, some of which may be found on the ChildView website at ChildView Inc. produces and distributes the ChildView family law software along with related materials and services. This software has been developed to assist those in family law, including courts, lawyers, mediators, and educators in determining child and spousal support and assessing the resulting financial outcomes. In addition to performing the child support calculations, it allows users to handle the complexities of income determination, including gross ups, as well as the income tax and benefits considerations that are integral parts of the Guidelines. This all-inclusive program covers all aspects of child support calculation, including special expenses, the Guidelines' Standard of Living Test, and cash projections (disposable income). It also includes tools for calculating spousal support per the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, as well as in-depth analysis of spousal support results, lump-sum payments, and a dynamic recalculation of special expenses. Its reporting features include summary and detailed information reports on all aspects of the child and spousal support calculations and cash analysis. In addition, it includes a flexible court form module that facilitates the completion and generation of family law forms. The ChildView® program also includes a comprehensive "Help" file and unlimited toll-free telephone support. ChildView Inc. may be contacted toll free at 1-800-787-8620. A link to a demonstration version is available upon request. For more information please call or visit their website at

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