After the Complaint for Divorce and answering pleadings are filed with the NJ family court, a “case information statement” must also be completed and filed. The New Jersey case information statement, which is also referred to as the CIS, can be time consuming to fill out; however, your dedication to properly completing this document can impact the resolution of your divorce case.
In Part A of the NJ case information statement, you will need to provide basic information about you and your family, including birthdates, date of the marriage and a list of existing 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 income totals. It will be essential for you to reference paystubs, W2s and tax returns to complete this part of the NJ CIS. Additionally, you will need to answer various questions that range from how often you are paid to whether or not you receive stock options, bonuses, commissions and other earned and unearned income in addition to your base salary.
Part D of the New Jersey CIS consists of 2 pages which deal exclusively with the monthly expenses incurred during your marriage. If you paid for most of your expenses with a credit card, debit card or check, then you can easily reference your credit card and bank statements to compile the information required on this part of the NJ case information statement. The monthly expenses are broken out in to three separate schedules for shelter, transportation, and personal expense items.
- 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 of 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 NJ CIS 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 care.
The monthly budget component of Part D is a critical part of the New Jersey CIS. 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. As you will note on the NJ case information statement, you must specify which expenses are for your joint marital lifestyle (ie. standard of living) and which reflect your current expenses, if you are already living in separate residences.
Part E of the New Jersey 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. 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 NJ CIS. 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 NJ case information statement should 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 New Jersey 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.
Part F of the NJ CIS legal form allows you to indicate if there are any special problems or challenges that were not addressed as part of the New Jersey CIS but needs to be disclosed. For example, if a forensic accountant will be required to value a family business or if you have a special needs child, you should make these notes in Schedule F.
The NJ CIS requires your original signature. You should understand that by signing this document, you are certifying that all of 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.
Once the CIS is formalized, our New Jersey divorce attorneys will have a snapshot of your income sources, monthly expenditure needs, 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 provide our NJ family lawyers a roadmap to negotiate and structure an appropriate equitable distribution for your divorce.
The New Jersey case information statement is arguably the most important document in your divorce matter. Without it, our NJ divorce lawyers would not have the necessary information to effectively advocate on your behalf