Case Information Statement Attorneys Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
The Case Information Statement is a document that outlines all of your income, expenses, assets, and debt.
It provides the court with a picture of your financial circumstances at present as well as your spending patterns and your debts. If you are involved in a divorce in New Jersey where there are custody or financial issues, you will be asked to fill out a Case Information Statement, commonly referred to as a “CIS.” All support issues in your divorce proceedings are determined based on this document, which includes child support, alimony, or college contributions. Any time the support is modified in the future, the court will go back to the original case information statement as well as the new one you file to request changes in support. Transparency and honesty are critical when filling this out as it is one of the most important documents in the divorce process.
What is in a Case Information Statement?
The case information statement outlines all of your income, expenses, assets, and debt. It provides the court with a picture of your financial circumstances at present as well as your spending patterns and your debts. If you are involved in a divorce in New Jersey where there are custody or financial issues, you will be asked to fill out a Case Information Statement, commonly referred to as a “CIS.” The CIS must be filed within 20 days of the Defendant filing his/her Answer or Appearance, but the Court may give you a due date that provides you with slightly more time than this. If you fail to file a CIS within the time frame ordered by the Court, the Court can dismiss your pleadings. This means that you can essentially be “removed” from the case for your failure to timely file a CIS.
A CIS should therefore be taken seriously and should be filled out in as much detail as possible. The more thorough the CIS, the easier it is for your attorney and the Court to understand your specific financial situation. A good CIS will tell the Court exactly what you and your spouse earn, how you spend your money, what assets you have, and what debts you have incurred.
What should I report as income?
The first part of the CIS is your income. You will provide information and the last income tax return that you filed including your gross income, your earned income, as well as your three most recent pay stubs. You will then come up with a year to date income based on your most recent pay stubs. This income calculation is critical as it shows what your income is likely to be at the end of the year. You also report bonuses such as overtime and raises so that the court can get a full picture of your income present, past, and future. You should also include non-wage benefits such as free business trips, meals, transportation, or a company vehicle along with any other expenditures paid for by an employer.
What kinds of expenses should be included?
The monthly expenses are the second part of the CIS and are broken down into three separate areas: shelter, transportation, and personal expenses.
Shelter expenses are the rental or mortgage payments, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, property taxes, repairs and maintenance, snow removal, landscaping charges, telephone, cable, internet, and other monthly costs related to your home.
Transportation expenses include a monthly lease, loan, or car payments, automobile insurance, boats, motorcycles, gasoline expenses, repairs and maintenance, license and registration fees, and other transportation-related costs such as public transportation.
What is Considered as Personal Expenses?
Personal expenses include all of your other costs such as groceries, health insurance, and unreimbursed expenses for medical, dental, prescription drugs, therapy, or psychological counseling, and orthodontic work. Monthly personal expenses in New Jersey also include child-related costs such as private school, babysitting, daycare, camps, club dues, sports, hobbies, and lessons. You should also account for domestic help, professional fees, cash, and retirement savings each month, along with gifts for birthdays, holidays, and all other occasions, entertainment expenses, vacations, and hair care.
What about individual or shared assets?
Next, you will list for the Court each asset in your or your spouse’s joint or individual name as well as each liability in your or your spouse’s joint or individual name. Common assets include real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, jewelry, stocks, businesses, and whole life insurance policies. You will be asked to indicate whose name each asset is in and what the value of each asset. Common debts include mortgages, car loans, student loans, personal loans from family members, and credit card debt. You will be asked to indicate whose name is associated with each liability and what the balance is on each liability.
What if my family has special needs?
There is a special section called a Statement of Special Problems where you can describe to the Court any unique circumstances, such as a neurologically or physically atypical child who requires special therapies and care, a party in your home who is suffering from a chronic illness, or a family business.
At the end of the CIS, you must sign it and certify that everything contained in the CIS is true. Do not lie on your CIS and do not try to hide assets, as doing so could jeopardize your case and subject you to various sanctions which include steep fines and penalties. Take time to complete your CIS with your attorney. An accurate and complete CIS will help to move your case along much faster than an inaccurate and incomplete CIS.
Our unique approach to family law centers around creating family life plans out of family law problems. We understand just how important financial stability is to you and your children, and we are prepared to help you modify or enforce your divorce orders to reflect this importance. By listening carefully to all of your needs and concerns, and keeping you highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we believe we can work together to achieve the results you need in your unique legal situation.
Contact our Brick, NJ Finance Experienced Attorneys
At Peter J. Bronzino, Esq, we take pride in having successfully represented clients across New Jersey, including towns like in Brick, Sea Girt, Asbury Park, Wall, Manasquan, Neptune, Spring Lake, and Brielle.
We will be happy to walk side by side with you to guide you in the details of your personal financial case.
To meet with a member of our firm for a confidential consultation regarding your concern, please contact our Brick, NJ offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a confidential consultation.