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Missing Case Information Statements Can Mean Case Dismissal

By Snyder & Sarno on December 05, 2014


A Case Information Statement (CIS) is a document outlining a party’s financial situation that must be submitted to the court in any family law matter where custody, support, alimony, or equitable distribution is an issue.  Preparing a CIS can be a daunting task, especially for a party that has a significant number of assets or debts.  Failing to supply the court with accurate financial information can also have severe consequences in your case.

In the recent case of Clark v. Pomponio, the former wife sought a modification of her alimony obligation but failed to provide the trial court with copies of her previous CIS as is required by New Jersey Rule 5:5-4(a).  As a result, the trial court denied her modification application.  Because she was self-employed, the trial court reasoned that it would be very difficult to ascertain how her financial circumstances had changed, which was required for a modification, without having evidence of her prior financial circumstances at the time that her alimony obligation was established.  

The New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s denial of her application based on the fact that CISs are important pieces of documentary evidence necessary to allow the trial court to make findings regarding financial issues in a case. Thus, the Appellate Division stated that failure to comply with Rule 5:5-4(a), which is mandatory, was in itself enough to deny her application.

When filing a family law case where finances may be an issue, a CIS is just one important document that must be submitted to the court.  Oftentimes, legal paperwork can be not only difficult to complete on your own, but it is also challenging to ensure that all necessary documents have been presented to the court.  With the help of an experienced matrimonial attorney, you can be sure that all of these concerns will be taken care of.  Contact the attorneys at Snyder & Sarno, LLC today at (973) 274-5200 for help with your case. 

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