Which Year’s Numbers Should I use?

People ask which year’s numbers they should use for guidelines and budgets: last year’s? This year’s? Next year’s?

The year you use depends on the purpose for which you are using the results.

Guidelines. For child and spousal support guidelines, people tend to use current year numbers. However, since the guideline payment amount tends to be constant in the future, if you know what the future numbers will be, and if they will be significantly different, and if you and the other party can agree to use future projections, then you should use your best guess of the future numbers.

Budgets. If you are focusing on budgets for the current year, you should use numbers that are an average of current year numbers. (That is, average the months of the year.) If you are trying to look ahead, you should use your best guess of future numbers.

You can enter one set of numbers, print the results, label the print-outs by hand (so you know which is which) and then enter a different set.

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