Every divorce begins with a large amount of paper work. The complaint for divorce is the initial filing that starts the case. After this is filed, it is then necessary to fill out and file a detailed document called a Case Information Statement, or "CIS." The CIS is comprised of several different sections. It is essential that you are as detailed and accurate as possible with this document.
Section A of the CIS is quite straightforward. It requests basic information, including names of your family members, ages, and addresses.
Sections B and C address income. To complete the section accurately, you will want to gather income documents such as w-2s, tax returns, 1099s, or other documents that reflect how much income you make. This includes income from other sources, such as rental income or stocks. The CIS will also request information about the frequency of your pay. It is important that your income is accurately represented on your CIS. An attorney must carefully review your representations regarding income to ensure that they are consistent with your tax returns and explain any discrepancies.
Part D deals with expenses. These expenses are divided into categories. The first is shelter, which addresses rent or mortgage expenses, in addition to utilities, taxes, and homeowners insurance. The second section is for transportation expenses, such as bus fare, car payments, or automobile insurance. The last category is personal expenses. This includes all other expenses not falling in the other categories, and can range from groceries to medical expenses. The reason it is so important to accurately reflect all of your monthly expenses is that it is directly related to the issue of spousal support. A spouse's need and the other spouse's ability to pay spousal support will both be reflected in accurately filled out CIS forms. It is important for the attorney to consider whether the person providing the budget is asking for alimony or will likely be the one paying alimony. While you have to be truthful when you represent this information, there are ways to present them more persuasively to benefit the client.
Part E has two parts, which include marital assets and marital liabilities. Assets include any marital assets, such as businesses, real estate, bank accounts, 401 (k)s, or any other asset. Liabilities include mortgages, tax liens, credit cards, medical debts, and the like. This section is also important because there may be reasons for you to strategically use different valuation dates. You must also identify any assets that are not subject to equitable distribution for any reason.
Finally, Part F allows a spouse to provide the court with information about any other issue or situation that a court needs to know about in relation to these topics. If there are separate financial situations which would help the court make a fair decision about spousal support or division of marital bills on a temporary basis, this provides you with the chance to explain it to the judge.
In any divorce it is important to have an experienced attorney help you understand the necessary procedures and paperwork. We have experience in helping clients start their divorce and understand the procedures. Call us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about your case.