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Divorce Mediation Tips: Prepare a CIS

Wednesday, February, 29, 2012

In divorce mediation, just as in divorce litigation, it is important to have a Case Information Statement, or CIS prepared beforehand. Especially given that mediations are geared toward a speedy resolution, having all of your paperwork in order before walking into the room is an essential part of the process. One primary difference between litigation and mediation is that in litigation, both parties have to create their own CIS's, while in mediation, only one is needed to represent both parties.


The CIS's Role in Divorce and Child Custody Mediations


The CIS is the central document that determines how things will be divided. It is the basis for dividing the estate, alimony, child custody and support and shows a marital lifestyle analysis. All the evidence that is gathered supports the claims in this document.


Preparing one of these documents is a complicated matter. One of the parties may have had little to do with the day to day income, expenditures and budgeting. Self-employed parties and individuals with investments can have a complex and difficult to interpret financial profile. It can become even more difficult to prepare if one or the other party gets paid “under the table” or is involved in criminal activity.


Why It's Important to Prepare a CIS before Civil Mediation


Most people do not have the appropriate training to properly compile and interpret the data necessary for an adequate CIS. This is best performed by consulting mediation attorneys and/or certified public accountants. This way, it is less likely that some important aspect of the CIS does not get overlooked.


For these reasons, a properly completed Case Information Statement is vital to a quick, fair and relatively painless divorce mediation. Streamlining the documentation will ensure that a mutually agreeable solution will be reached in short order.