Each party in a divorce is required to file a Case Information Statement (CIS). The CIS is the baseline financial document which breaks down each party’s income, itemizes each party’s expenses and sets forth a balance sheet of marital assets and liabilities.
By an amendment to the Court Rules, effective September 1, 2004, the New Jersey Supreme Court has revised the format of the Case Information Statement. Two of the most significant changes are:
1. Two Column Itemization of Expenses:
The first column requires an itemization of the marital expenses for the parties and their children, the “marital lifestyle”.
The second column requires an itemization of the parties current expenses which are often, by necessity, reduced due to the separation or pending divorce.
This dual disclosure will enable the Judge to see a more complete and accurate picture of the parties actual lifestyle and expenses, and will protect the dependant spouse from having a support award made which reflects the reduced, current expenses rather than the actual lifestyle expenses.
2. More Complete Disclosure of Bonuses, Commissions and Non-cash Forms of Compensation:
The revised form has a full page of questions requiring written disclosure and explanation of any commissions, bonuses or non-cash forms of compensation such as stock or stock options.
The revisions also require the disclosure of any deferred compensation or compensation which has been earned but not yet received.
These disclosures should give the Judge a much more accurate and complete picture of a party’s income.