What You Need to Know about the New Jersey Case Information Statement
Hackensack Divorce Lawyer Serving Bergen County and New Jersey
After the Complaint for Divorce is filed by the Plaintiff and an Answer to the Complaint for Divorce or an Appearance, is filed by the Defendant with a New Jersey Family Court, a form called a Case Information Statement (CIS) must also be completed and filed with the Court by both the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The Case Information Statement is a full disclosure-related document between the divorcing parties’ which outlines their respective incomes, monthly living expenses, the marital lifestyle and, any and all marital and/or pre-marital assets and liabilities. This document is one of the most important documents that a divorcing party will file during their divorce process, and must be accurate, detailed and truthful. Every Plaintiff and Defendant will sign their own Case Information Statement, and this is one of the first sworn documents that will be submitted before the Court based on which, a judge later in the case may be called to assess a party’s credibility. Here at the Elfant Rickett Law Firm we pay very careful attention to the Case Information Statement process, as it may greatly impact our client’s credibility later in the case or during a course of a potential trial. If you have questions related to the Case Information Statement for your divorce in New Jersey, contact our office in Hackensack anytime at (201)-968-5700 to schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney.
What Does a Case Information Statement Include?
In Part A of the Case Information Statement, a litigant will need to provide basic information about themselves and their family, including birthdates, date of the marriage and a list of outstanding issues in your matter.
Parts B and C relate specifically to all employment and income related information. You will need to provide information about your employer and the total income for both you and your spouse over the past year, along with your current year-to-date incomes. It will be essential for you to reference paystubs, W2s and tax returns to complete this part of your Case Information Statement. Likewise, you will be required to answer various questions that range from how often you are paid to whether you receive stock options, bonuses, commissions and other earned and unearned income in addition to your base salary.
Types of Expenses in the Case Information Statement
Part D of the Case Information Statement consists exclusively of reporting the amounts of monthly expenses incurred during your marriage. The monthly expenses are broken out in to three separate schedules for shelter, transportation, and personal expense items into two columns. The column of the left side of the form deals with the expenses of the marriage meaning, you, your spouse and your children. The column on the right deals with your current expenses and, expenses of the children. Whether both columns need to be filled out is determined upon the facts of your case, or on a case by case basis.
- Shelter Expenses: These include rental or mortgage payments, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, repairs and maintenance, snow removal, landscaping charges, telephone, cable, internet and other monthly costs related to your home.
- Transportation Expenses: These include monthly lease, loan or car payments, automobile insurance, boats, motorcycles, gasoline expenses, repairs and maintenance, license and registration fees and other transportation-related costs.
- Personal Expenses: These include all your other costs such as groceries, insurance and unreimbursed expenses for medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs, therapy or psychological counseling, eye care and orthodontic work. Monthly personal expenses on the Case Information Statement also include child-related costs such as private school, babysitting, day care, 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 even hair, body and pet care.
The monthly budget component of Part D is a very important part of the New Jersey Case Information Statement. It will provide a global itemization of what your expenses are each month and how much net income, or alimony is needed to meet those needs.
Assets and Liabilities in the CIS
Part E of the Case Information Statement identifies your marital and separate assets and liabilities. This is where you will provide information regarding all existing checking and savings bank accounts, real estate, timeshares, IRAs, pensions, Keoughs, ESOPs, SEPs, SSPs, 403b and 401k plans, stock and bond accounts that you possess and that you know, your spouse possesses. You will also need to include a detailed account of your leased and/or owned vehicles, including the year, make, model, value and whose name is listed on the title. Any business interests, collectibles and other valuable personal property should be itemized in Part E of the Case Information Statement. If there is a whole life insurance policy(s) that currently has cash value, the amount of the cash value at the time you fill out the Case Information Statement should also be listed.
On the liabilities page of Part E, you will need to provide information regarding any real estate mortgages, lines of credit, long term debts, revolving charges (i.e. credit cards), short term debts and contingent liabilities. For instance, if you have any money owed as a result of medical bills or student loans, the amount due must be identified on the liabilities page of the Case Information Statement. In the event that you owe money to family members, friends or business colleagues, the name of the payee and amount due should be included so that it can be taken into consideration at the time of equitable distribution.
As mentioned above, the Case Information Statement requires your original signature. You should understand that by signing this document, you are certifying that all the details on this legal paper are complete, true and accurate.
Part G of the New Jersey CIS form provides a list of required attachments such as W2 forms, pay stubs and tax returns.
Need Help with a Case Information Statement for Your Divorce in New Jersey?
Once the Case Information Statements are completed by you and your spouse, the divorce attorneys on both sides will have a snapshot of your income sources, monthly expenditure needs, marital lifestyle, assets, debts and the amount of money you need to live on each month. If your personal income is not enough to meet your needs, then an alimony component may be necessary to assist you in supplementing your income. In addition, the assets and liabilities pages of respective Case Information Statements in a divorce case provides lawyers a roadmap to negotiate and structure an appropriate equitable distribution, as well as alimony and child support awards in your individualized case.
The New Jersey Case Information Statement is one of the most important documents in your divorce matter and must be prepared and filled out with details and precision. For additional information and to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable NJ divorce lawyer who can help, contact The Elfant Rickett Law Firm at (201)-968-5700.
To access the New Jersey Case Information Statement Form in its entirety, click here.