Robert A. Bonavito, CPA PC

New Jersey Divorce Accountant Speaks about CIS Statements

Video Transcript 

My name's Robert Bonavito, New Jersey Forensic Accountant. This video is part of a series of videos where I discuss forensic accounting topics for educational purposes only. If this was a litigated matter, I would take a different approach, have different conclusions based on different facts and circumstances, and today's discussion is a CIS Statement.

CIS stands for Case Information Statement and it's usually prepared in a divorce. And I just wanted to go over it because I think that in divorces, this is largely neglected, but I think it may be the most important thing from a financial aspect in divorce. And this is required by law, okay? And what this does is it pretty much lists important facts that anybody looking at divorce needs to know about, your date of birth, the date you were married, the date of the complaint, you know, items that are in dispute, addresses, where you lived. It lists a breakdown of your W-2, okay? If you work for a big company, some of these W-2s have all kinds of stuff in there, child support, they have life insurance payments and education. It makes you list all that stuff in here.

It wants a breakdown of your earnings, gross and all the deductions from that. It asks for all of your expenses, things like your shelter, how much is your heat? Your electric, your rent, your mortgage, your water and sewage charges, telephone, mobile telephone, cable TV, auto payments, orthodontics. If you have children and babysitting, day care, pretty much every expense that you can imagine should be listed on here.

And what I always tell people is, "Listen, go through this once, two or three times and make sure it's as accurate as possible, okay?" And if you can, try to figure what your spouse has done bizarre and when this is complete, go through it with a fine-tooth comb, and make sure it's accurate because you don't want this to be questioned. And remember, when you prepare this, you may not be questioned on it for a year or even a year and a half, or two years later. Make sure you have it organized, records to substantiate, don't just say, "My electric bill is so and so."

If you can, go through and figure out what your electric bills are, make a file of it, doctor bills, things like that. A lot of this stuff you can get off your tax returns, make copies of your W-2 because people are gonna ask you for this stuff. If the CIS is prepared properly and you have proper documentation to back it up, it's gonna make your case go smoother. You're not gonna look like a fool later on if you under or over estimate an expense and material amount. And if you get divorced, I just want you to take a look at the CIS Statement and spend a lot of time on it. My name is Robert Bonavito, if you have any questions on this video, feel free to call me or email me.


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