What is a Case Information Statement?
The Case Information Statement is a document which is filed with the Court setting forth the financial details of your case. The required information includes medical insurance coverage, life insurance coverage, your income, your spouse’s income (if known to you), a budget of your living expenses, an itemization of the amounts which you are paying in support of your spouse or children (if you are contributing to their support), a summary of your assets and an itemization of your liabilities.
Does a Case Information Statement have to be filed in every case?
The court rules require that a Case Information Statement be filed by both parties in every case even if the financial issues are uncontested.In a contested case, the Case Information Statement is used by the Court to reach its decision with regard to the financial issues.
In an uncontested case, the Case Information Statement is used by the Court to establish the economic circumstances of the parties at the time of the agreement in the event either party seeks to modify the agreement at a future date.
How accurate must the Case Information Statement be?
It is extremely important that the Case Information Statement be as accurate as possible.
The expense items should be reviewed and documented with past receipts, checkbook registers or family budgets.
The asset values should be taken from actual appraisals or account statements. If the values are estimated it should be clearly noted that they are merely estimates.
The liability balances should be taken from the account statements most recent to the filing of the Divorce Complaint.
If your case proceeds to a trial, you will be crossexamined on the validity and accuracy of your expenses, the asset values and the liabilities. It is, therefore, important that you be able to document or otherwise support your entries.
Suppose I do not have the information or records necessary to complete the statement?
The law requires that you provide not only information which is actually within your possession, but, also, information which you have the ability to obtain. Therefore, for example, if you do not have the most recent statement from your pension plan, but can obtain it from your employer, you are obligated to make the inquiry and obtain it from your employer.
On the other hand, if you do not have access to the records because your spouse has taken them or they are in the possession of persons over whom you have no control, you should list the asset but note that you do not have the records and indicate the reason why you do not have the records or access to them.
Suppose my financial circumstances change after I file the Case Information Statement?
You have the right and are under an obligation to update the Case Information Statement as your circumstances change. For example, if you move out of the marital residence and acquire your own apartment, we would file an Amended Case Information Statement showing your new rental and other living expenses. Shortly before your case is scheduled for Early Settlement Panel presentation or trial we will contact you to review and update the Case Information Statement so that the settlement panel or Court will have the most current information.
Should I list only the assets which are in my name or should I list those which are in my spouse’s name or jointly owned?
In the asset section of the Case Information Statement you will note that you are asked to list all assets whether they are individually owned by either you or your spouse or jointly owned.
When the asset is listed, we then designate whether it is owned by you, your spouse, or jointly owned.
Am I required to list those assets which are exempt from equitable distribution?
You are required to list all assets whether or not you feel they are subject to equitable distribution.
In the asset section of the Case Information Statement there is a space to set forth the reason why you feel the asset is exempt from equitable distribution.
What should I do if I have any questions while I am completing the Case Information Statement?
Our Associates will work with you in completing the Case Information Statement. If you have any questions while you are working on the Statement, you should contact the Associate who has been working with you. In most instances, they will be able to answer your question. If they are not able to answer the question, they will consult with the Shareholder who is handling your case. Either the Associate or the Shareholder will review your questions with you, and assist you in completing the Statement.