As a lawyer who devotes his entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law, I have long been aware of the fact that, in any New Jersey divorce case, the most important document which each party must prepare is his/her Case Information Statement (“CIS”).
As I have written in a previous blog post, the CIS is a financial form that each party needs to fill out and provides a snapshot of that party’s entire financial situation.
A recent case highlights the consequences of providing misinformation on your CIS, which you must sign and date and contains the words directly above your signature:
“I certify that the foregoing information contained herein is true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing information contained therein is willfully false, I am subject to punishment.”
Don’t take those words lightly. In the recent case of Bier v. Bier, the New Jersey Appellate Division denied an ex-wife’s request for an increase in alimony payments from her ex-husband, because she claimed that she now had higher medical expenses.
The Bier Court noted that the couple’s Final Judgment of Divorce had stated noted that the ex-wife’s medical expenses might increase over time, and that she would be responsible for paying her own insurance premiums after three years.
The Bier Court also noted that it was unable to conclude that the ex-wife’s medical expenses had substantially changed, since she did not provide documentation of her medical conditions, expenses, or even a change in her health since the divorce.
Significantly, however, the Bier Court observed that there were multiple inconsistencies in the ex-wife’s statements and her financial disclosures, which seriously hurt her credibility. She claimed she required round-the-clock care and had difficulty walking and getting out of bed, yet she said her commuting and transportation costs exceeded $14,000 per month. She even purchased a Mercedes only a few months before filing her motion.
The bottom line is this: once you lose your credibility with a New Jersey Family Court Judge, it will be virtually impossible for you to get anything that you request.
That is why it is so important to have the assistance of a good New Jersey divorce lawyer who will take the time to review all of your documentation and help you present a complete and accurate picture of your finances.
Salvaggio Law Group devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters. If you want to talk, please call us at (973) 455-1220 or fill out the Contact Form on our firm’s website.