The Family Case Information Statement Explained
The Family Case Information Statement (CIS) is a document that gets filed with the County Clerk at the time your contested family action begins. It is basically a summary of important information for the court’s purposes during the course of litigation, and it must be kept current whenever information changes.
The CIS consists of six separate parts, and each part requires a thorough understanding in order to be completed accurately. For most litigants filing or answering a petition for divorce, or subsequent actions involving child support, alimony, or equitable distribution of real or personal property, the CIS represents a significant investment of their personal attention, as well as their lawyer’s time.
Here are the parts of the CIS in New Jersey:
- Case Information – the parties’ names and dates, including those of the children of the marriage
- Miscellaneous Information – employment, insurance and other pertinent information
- Income Information – for the past year, at the present time, and other occasional income
- Monthly Expenses – shelter, transportation and personal expenses
- Balance Sheet of Family Assets and Liabilities – all assets and liabilities eligible to determine the net worth of the parties
- Statement of Special Problems – any and all issues the court needs to consider to achieve fairness
The basic CIS format is supplemented with riders or supplemental documents to provide evidence to the court for the determination of child support and other orders.
While this list may not appear intimidating at first glance, producing the final documents to file at the time the action is filed or answered is a time-consuming process. You need to collect all the necessary information and schedule time to work with your family lawyer on your CIS. It’s not good idea to finalize it without assistance because there’s too much at stake in your case.
An incomplete or inaccurate CIS can cost you in many ways. You sign the CIS under oath and any mistakes can interfere with your credibility at trial. The Court may assume that you intentionally provided a false or incomplete CIS, which will not work in your favor and may even cost you the decision.
When you need to file a contested family action which requires filing a Family Case Information Statement in New Jersey, call us for a no-obligation consultation, (732) 370-9596. Or email us to make an appointment and discuss your particular situation.