The Family Court’s Case Information Statement – Part I

Anyone going through a divorce has heard of the Case Information Statement. Just mentioning the Case Information Statement, or CIS as it is known, usually causes anyone exposed to it to grimace. That is because, if prepared properly, it is somewhat time-consuming to complete. This is due to the Case Information Statement being an extremely detailed and comprehensive financial form.

However, the Case Information Statement is one of the most vital documents in a divorce case. It is a form which requests basic information, such as names and addresses of the parties and their children, and financial information such as income, expenses, assets and liabilities. The litigant must certify as to the truth of all information contained in the Case Information Statement. It is a snapshot of your entire financial situation, and is invaluable in both the litigation and settlement processes.

The Court Rules require that the Case Information Statement be filed and served whenever there is an issue as to custody, support, alimony or equitable distribution, or as may be ordered by the court. (R. 5:5-2(a)) The Court Rules also provide that the Case Information Statement be filed and served twenty days after the filing of the Answer or Appearance. (R. 5:5-2(b)) Further, the parties are under a continuing duty to report any material changes. (R. 5:5-2(c)) Also, the courts will usually require an “updated” Case Information Statement at least twenty days before a trial. Each time an application is made for alimony or child support, the Case Information Statement must be attached to that application. (R. 5:5-4(a)) When an application is made after a divorce for the modification of alimony or child support, the application must have attached to it both the prior Case Information Statements and a copy of a current Case Information Statement. (R. 5:5-4(a))

You can see that by the court’s frequent requirement of submission of a Case Information Statement, that it is a document that is important to the courts. The courts rely on the information contained in the Case Information Statements. The judges are familiar with the format of the Case Information Statement and frequently refer to it for information important to them when deciding an issue on a case.

Part II of this article will address some of the detailed financial information required to complete the Case Information Statement.

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