Case Information Statement in a Divorce
One of the divorce proceedings your family law attorney will walk you through is the completion of the Case Information Statement, also known as a CIS.
Going through a divorce is a complicated and often confusing process. The multitude of steps one must complete in order to finalize a divorce, as well as the mental, emotional, and financial stress a divorce often involves, can be overwhelming. Having the support of an experienced family law attorney will be essential at this time, both because they will ensure that you receive your fair share of assets in the divorce, and also because their expertise will provide you with the reprieve you need to care for your own wellbeing as you navigate this life transition.
One of the divorce proceedings your family law attorney will walk you through is the completion of the Case Information Statement, also known as a CIS. What is a CIS, and how does it impact your divorce proceedings? Read on to learn more.
What is a Case Information Statement (CIS)?
The filing of a Case Information Statement (CIS) is one of the most important elements of your divorce proceedings, making it an essential document that requires much care in completing. A CIS is an overview of the entirety of your income, your expenses, all of your assets, and your debt. It is basically an outline of your entire financial portfolio and captures not only the status of your current finances but also the ways in which you’ve been spending money over the last few years. There are no cutting corners with this document – you must sign it under oath, and it is the basis for your ex-spouse’s argument in the fair distribution of marital assets.
The parts of a CIS
In order to complete the CIS, you must provide information like your income, expenses, assets, and debts, as noted above. Providing your income requires that you show multiple forms of income statements. This would be your latest years’ income tax returns and your professional paystubs. Your most recent paystubs will determine an estimate of what your end-of-year income will be, which will be used in the divorce proceedings of asset separations. You must also provide information outside of your regular work salary, such as bonuses and overtime payments you have received, as well as side gigs that provide an income. Withholding information about your income is not a wise idea, as if a judge learns that you have done so, you may be penalized by having to turn over all hidden assets, considered marital assets, to your ex-spouse.
The Provision of Expenses
The provision of expenses is a complex process that must be navigated with care, as it determines your marital lifestyle and will set the stage for any alimony payments that you are to receive or pay in the divorce. These expenses will be submitted in the form of a budget: it includes how much you spend on a monthly basis, including housing, utilities, and grocery expenses; vehicle expenses such as car payments and gas; and miscellaneous expenses that make up your lifestyle. While a person may want to show that their expenses are as high as possible in order to come to a divorce settlement that ensures that their status quo will be able to be maintained, honesty in reporting expenses is absolutely necessary in order to avoid penalties.
Providing Assets List of Non-Income Items
Third, you will provide your assets. This is a list of non-income items that you own, as well as savings accounts and investments. To this list, you will add the value of each item, taking into account depreciation (in the case of cars, for example), as well as appreciation (in the case of real estate, for example). Some divorcing couples get tripped up here because they underreport their assets, claiming that certain things are not marital assets and belong to them alone. It is important for a person to provide their attorney with a list of all assets, and let the attorney provide counsel as to what is a shared marital asset that must be reported, and what is not.
In the same way, you will also provide all debt you owe. While the outline of debts you give to your attorney may include both shared marital debts and personal debts that are not shared, the attorney will determine what is legally admissible as a marital debt that must be taken into consideration in the division of assets.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney to Discuss Your Case Information Statement Today
At The Law Offices of Jacobs Berger, our team of family law attorneys supports clients in Florham Park, Tewksbury, Randolph, Morristown, and across Morris County NJ in all divorce matters, including the gathering and submission of documents for a CIS.