Form 14 is a worksheet used to calculate child support amounts in the state of Missouri. It’s notoriously difficult to complete, and attorneys and non-professionals struggle through it each day. My dad created and runs a popular website with self-calculating Adobe forms to help, and released an iPhone app called Form 14 in 2011. Sales were great for a niche product, but in recent years we plotted to release a new, more modern version, with emailing, printing and saving.
After a couple of hiccups discovered during testing, and an unusually lengthy Apple submission process, the product of this effort is finally available for download.
Although I enjoy the subject matter of my other apps – basketball, gardening, and math – this is my most personal app so far, because it was a collaboration between my dad, brother, and myself.
The story of Smith & Sons is fully detailed on the About page, so I won’t rehash it here. But the short of it is that my dad has spent the bulk of his career working in Family Law, and has coded on the side for decades. My brother, Neil, has his own firm in St. Louis – and is always looking for ways to use tech to streamline and optimize his practice. But, as we later discovered, Neil was using other tools to complete Form 14. He didn’t use the original Form 14 app, and is exactly the type of customer that would benefit from upgraded features.
So, development over the late summer was a joint effort. I designed and coded the interface, my dad wrote the logic for calculating all of the numbers and correcting human errors as needed, and Neil suggested alterations and gave us constructive criticism on why he would or wouldn’t switch from existing tools. While I always find app development enjoyable, this particular project took on special meaning, as it was the first true “Smith & Sons” release.
If you’re an attorney or non-professional user of the app, and could use some help with the form – contact Neil at The Smith Law Firm. Direct any comments, feedback, or ideas for other legal apps to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the Contact page.