Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Initial Alimony Meetings in New Jersey

When attending initial alimony meetings in New Jersey, it is imperative that you work with an alimony lawyer.  Your attorney can advise you on what documentation you should bring to an initial alimony meeting, and how spousal support determinations are made. Most importantly, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the alimony process. Consult a family law attorney today, and know that you are in capable hands.

Information to Share With an Attorney Before a MeetingBefore heading to initial alimony meetings in New Jersey, there is some information that an attorney needs to know first. That information includes  the income of the parties and understanding of the marital lifestyle, the educational background of the parties, whether or not they have current employment, and whether each party has any disabilities (specifically long term disabilities that would require long term care). Those are typical questions discussed at the initial meeting and this information will be used to determine an appropriate amount of alimony.

Documents to Bring to an Alimony Meeting

During initial spousal support meetings in New Jersey, each party will need to complete a Case Information Statement (CIS)  which is a 10-page document. This information is used to inform the Court and the adversary of their entire financial background.

It includes information such as their income last year, the income of their spouse last year, what their joint income was together, their current year-to-date income, itemized deductions, if they have any union dues, life insurance, 401(k) plan, or pension. It goes into incredible detail.

Questions Attorneys May Ask About These Documents

Attorneys might ask about bonuses or commissions or whether or not there are any cash disbursements.  They also might ask if the party works overtime, how much do they work and how often do they do so. Other questions would revolve around how regularly they work overtime and how that has impacted their finances, what their pay rate is, whether they have dependents or not, and whether they receive child support or not. It is also important for individuals' monthly expenses to be listed for the joint lifestyle and their current lifestyle, and it goes through the shelter expenses, transportation expenses and the personal expenses.

Personal Expenses

It is interesting to see the personal expenses, because it is quite detailed, e.g., it asks how much do they pay for household supplies, restaurants, dry cleaning, hair care, domestic help, medical, eye care, sports and hobbies, club dues and memberships, camps, vacations, babysitting, entertainment, alcohol and tobacco, newspapers and periodicals, gifts.

It also asks for a lot of details of what is required under the personal expenses, and they are supposed to outline what their joint lifestyle was and what their current lifestyle is.In this way, the court can see what how it was during the course of the marriage and how it is now.

What a Case Information Sheet Examines

The CIS also looks at a balance sheet of all the assets and liabilities. It asks for all information about real property, bank accounts, vehicles, stocks and bonds, pensions, IRAs, businesses, and life insurance loans.

Under the liability portion, it asks if they have any mortgages, any long term debts, revolving charges, short term debts and continued liability.

The document also requires someone to submit financial documentation as attachments that back up the statements that the person has made in the CIS which would be their:

  • Federal and state income tax return from the last year with all the schedules and attachments
  • Last calendar year's W2 statements, 1099s or K-1s
  • Three most recent paystubs
  • Bonus information
  • Most recent corporate benefit statements
  • Affidavit of insurance coverage
  • All pending and prior family actions regarding domestic violence, support or custody
  • Any schedule of payments made to a spouse or children that are not reflected in the form anywhere else
  • Any other agreements between the parties
  • Child support worksheet, if appropriate

The form asks for a great deal of information, and is necessary when attending initial alimony meetings in New Jersey. This information is necessary for a determination of whether or not alimony is appropriate. It allows the Court and the attorneys to see the financial background of the parties, what their lifestyle is, and whether or not they will be able to continue a similar lifestyle which they enjoyed during the course of their marriage. To learn more, individuals should seek the services of a qualified family law attorney that can attempt to achieve a positive outcome for them.