Focus on Case Information Statements: What are They?

Case Information Statements.  You may have already heard the term, or its acronym, CIS.  However, that doesn’t mean that every person contemplating divorce understands their significance.  Case Information Statements do not only apply to high net worth divorce cases.  In fact, they are a requirement in every contested family court action.

The obligation to file a Case Information Statement is spelled out in the New Jersey Court Rules, specifically Rule 5:5-2.  If you are not sure what constitutes a family court matter, it is any that deals with “custody, support, alimony or equitable distribution.”  The court may order production of a CIS upon application of one of the parties or by its own judgment. 

There is one exception to the requisite filing of a Case Information Statement.  New Jersey Court Rule 5:5-3 explicitly deals with summary actions that involve child support.  In those cases, there is a requirement to submit a Financial Statement in the form of an affidavit or certification.  An experienced family law attorney can help determine which document applies to your situation.

Case Information Statements Broken Down

Divorce clients have many questions regarding Case Information Statements.  The essential data is actually quite encompassing.  In marriages where financial troubles contributed to the marital decline, a CIS can shed some interesting light on the couple’s economic situation. In short, a Case Information Statement can be a real eye-opener.

Time Requirements and Filing

Your attorney will most likely provide you with a blank copy of a Case Information Statement at the time you sign the retainer agreement.  If there is a reason for holding off on filing the divorce complaint, you may not be asked to complete the CIS until closer to that date. 

Case Information Statements must be submitted within twenty (20) days of the filing of the Answer to the Complaint.  Most recognize the CIS as one of the most crucial documents of a matrimonial action.  Failure to file a Case Information Statement can result in dismissal of either the Complaint or Answer.

Information Needed for the CIS

If you are seeking a divorce, you should start accumulating documentation as soon as possible.  Some of the requisite information includes:

  • Demographic data regarding your family, including birthdates
  • Date of your marriage
  • Brief statement regarding marital issues
  • Employment/Business Information
  • Details about Insurance Coverage
  • Income Documentation, including W-2s and 1099 forms
  • Comprehensive Breakdown of Expenses
  • Itemization of Unearned Income
  • Statement of Liabilities
  • Information about Special Problems

Much of the required information must be supplemented by backup documents.  Your attorney will review your draft answers and review them with you.  It may be necessary to produce supplemental information if circumstances change after the initial submittal.

Contact Us

At the Law Offices of Sam Stoia, we realize that completing Case Information Statements is a cumbersome process.  We guide our clients through the process.  If you are involved in a family case matter, we would like to offer our assistance.  We are just a phone call or email away!

Focus on Case Information Statements: What are They?

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