Mar 16 2015

What is a Case Information Statement (CIS)?

Written by: Vito Brunetti

This is the second of a series of articles on the Family Law Division’s Case Information Statement (CIS).

The Case Information Statement, or CIS, is the principal document utilized by the Courts in determining alimony, child support and equitable distribution.

case information statementIt should therefore be considered a strategic and persuasive document utilized in order to advance each party’s own theory of the case by accentuating their particular needs and limitations.

When a CIS is utilized in a divorce, amended CIS’ must be filed periodically to reflect any ongoing changes to each party’s financial circumstances that occur during the period of the case. Examples of important changes to be included in an amended CIS are: a change of employment, a new residence and/or different monthly expenses.

The CIS is divided into sections and sub-sections:

Part A requests the background information of the parties: name, address, date of birth, name and date of birth of each minor child, date of marriage or civil union (or domestic partnership) and date of separation.

Part B requests the party’s current employment and insurance information.

Part C: the “Income Information” is one of the most important sections of the CIS and is divided into five subsections. You are required to provide documentary proof of your income by attaching your most recently filed federal and state tax returns (including tax schedules, W-2, and if appropriate 1099 forms) and current pay stubs.

1. The first subsection, entitled “Last Year’s Income” requests your gross earned income from the previous year. (That means the amount of your Medicare wages and tips, which can be found on your W-2 form for each employment.)

2. The second subsection entitled the “Present Earned Income and Expenses” is calculated from information contained in your last three current paystubs. Your attorney utilizing these numbers will provide the Court with your net average weekly income. (If you are teacher who works from September to June, the calculation used will be slightly different because it will be based on a 10 month term or twenty pay periods.)

3. The third subsection entitled “Your Current Year-to-Date Earned Income” also calculated from information derived from your most current pay stub will provide the Court with both your net average earned income per month and per week.

4. In the fourth subsection, entitled “Year-to-date Unearned Income” you are required to provide all sources of unearned income, including rental income, royalties, interest, dividends, support payments (alimony, child support and public benefits, such as Social Security and public assistance.)

5. In the fifth and final subsection entitled “Additional Information,” there are eighteen (18) questions, which you must answer. These questions are intended to clarify your answers in the previous subsections including salary, bonuses, commissions or other forms of distributions, overtime, stock options and other forms of supplemental income. It asks if you are receiving unemployment, disability or social security benefits. If you are paying or receiving alimony and/or child support and if so, whether it is being garnished from your paycheck. The final question is open-ended and permits you to explain in detail any distinguishing circumstance that applies to your situation and will corroborate you request for support.

This income section of the CIS provides the Court and your adversity with one half of your financial equation, specifically:

1. How much money you as the obligee are earning and therefore in need of support or

2. In the case of the obligor, the limitations of your ability to support the other party.

Our next article on the CIS will address the other half of this financial equation: each party’s monthly overhead expenses.

It is important to note: that while some other law firms delegate this task to their support staff, at Vito A. Brunetti, Esq., LLC your CIS will be personally prepared by the attorneys themselves because they realize the importance of this document to your case.

Therefore, if you are petitioning the Court for financial relief, whether in a divorce, or just requesting or modifying an existing support obligation, consider the law firm of Vito A. Brunetti, Esq., LLC to represent you. Vito A. Brunetti, Esq., LLC is an experienced family law firm, that will competently and skillfully look after your interests.

Feel free to contact our office in order to schedule a free consultation.