The 411 On Case Information Statements

The 411 On Case Information Statements

June 6, 2019
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

After the filing of initial pleadings (i.e. a Complaint for Divorce and Answer and Counterclaim, etc.), it is time to begin focusing on the Case Information Statement, or “CIS.  The CIS is paramount to the divorce process because it provides a snapshot of all of the financial details of particular divorce case—in particular, income, lifestyle expenses, assets and liabilities.  The CIS plays an important role in the determination of spousal support, child support and equitable distribution.  For these reasons, it is highly important that the CIS is completed accurately and with appropriate descriptions of any income and/or expenses that may require explanation.  


Generally speaking, in a divorce where one spouse handles all of the finances, it should be relatively easy for that spouse to gather the various paystubs, tax returns, financial statementsand bills that are necessary to complete a CIS.  For the spouse who is unfamiliar with marital finances, however, gathering such information can be a daunting task.  


Here are a few tips to consider when gathering information to complete your CIS:

1. Contact all banks and other financial institutions where you may have joint assets and obtain copies of recent statements.
2. Contact your accountant and request a copy of the most recently filed tax returns and 1099s used.
3. Contact your credit card companies for copies of recent statements.  If you are unaware of whether there is credit card debt, review checking account statements for payments made to credit card companies and make a list of which financial institutions are being paid.
4. Review all financial files maintained in your home and make copies.


Once the gathering of information is complete, divorcing spouses must also pay careful attention to filling out the section regarding average monthly spending.  This is what is also known as “Schedule A, B and C” expenses.  In short, Schedule A refers to shelter and housing expenses; Schedule B refers to transportation expenses; and Schedule C refers to personal expenses.  


Here are a few tips to consider when filling out your Schedule A, B and C expenses:

1. Include anticipated expenses. For example, if a spouse will need to pay for medical insurance after the divorce, this expense must be noted, even though it is not incurred currently.  
2. If you have a high monthly grocery bill because of special dietary needs or food allergies, this must be noted.
3. If vacation expenses are high because of regular visits to family in another country, this expense must be explained.  
4. If your family saved money during the marriage, whether through 401k’s, IRA’s, investment accounts or simple savings accounts, make sure to include this expense in your budget.  


If you’re considering a divorce and want to know more about a Case Information Statement, do not hesitate to contact the Family Law Department of Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC.