The importance of a Case Information Statement (C.I.S.) in the New Jersey Family Court for divorces cannot be overstated. As an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer, I obtained countless sizable alimony and upward deviation child support awards by focusing on the intricate details on the marital lifestyle in a divorce case. Common sense would tell you that you cannot have $20,000 in monthly expenses if you only claim to earn $10,000 per month. While it is common sense, the truth reveals itself in Case Information Statements in divorce matters. It did not take me ten years of practicing divorce law to learn that but with my ten plus years, I only get better by each day. This critical experience helps my clients obtain what they should in terms of alimony, equitable distribution, child support and counsel fees.
The CIS needs to be provided throughout the divorce case and needs to be up to date. While certain expenses are variable in nature, other expenses are fixed and you need to be as accurate as possible. Inflating or trying to lower expenses on the CIS will not help you. The CIS required your monthly lifestyle to be calculated as well as the parties income information, the more the better.
Business Owners, 1099 Earners and Their Unique True Incomes
Business owners, freelancers and the like have more power over their earnings and taxable income than W2 employees will ever have. While a W2 worker has a set income per month and maybe bonuses, etc, that W2 earner is taxed on all income with minor deductions. Whereas a business owner can write off a considerable amount and pay him or herself a small salary. With that in mind, it is very important to comb through the Case Information Statement and bank records, etc to get to the real income number. While the number will not be gross receipts or revenue, it certainly will not be the low super deduction income claimed to the IRS. Through my trial and motion experience in family/divorce court, I again have helped clients get to the real number for income purposes. Why it matters is because that number or in that range in income is what alimony, child support and other issues are calculated (amongst other factors).
In my trial and litigation experience in New Jersey Divorces, I have represented business owners, W2 workers, Commission Based Employees and I have represented the dependent spouse or lesser earning spouse many times. When trying to obtain more, you want to show that many "business expenses" are in fact personal expenses and that they should be added back to the income of the individual. If you do not know that, the income amounts used will get lower and lower. You also have to find what are real fixed costs and what are variable. An office rent or rents are fixed while advertising may not be or it may have to be averaged out. Entertainment may be needed for the business or it may really be personal, the list goes on and on. It is my divorce teams job to get as close to the truth or to the truth as possible for accuracy. With that in mind, you or we may face roadblocks but you have to keep pushing by way of motions and the like.
So while this article is about the Case Information Statement for family court (divorce) as it applies to alimony and child support, the CIS is a broad picture of your total financial situation which a Judge can use to make key financial determinations. With that in mind, it is important to work with a divorce lawyer that can guide you and that can make sure your CIS is accurate. If you have a divorce case, a motion for a divorce case or other related family law/divorce case in New Jersey, contact my team via phone or text on (201) 228-9815 or to me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, be safe and appreciate everyday you have.