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Child and Family Investigators

A Child and Family Investigator (CFI) plays an important role in high-conflict parental responsibilities cases? He or she investigates and makes a recommendation to the Court regarding the best interests of the child to include allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time and decision-making authority based on the best interests of the child legal standard.

Interviewing the Parents

The CFI always interviews both parents and sometimes conducts the interview in the home setting to observe the parent’s interactions with the children. The CFI will interview the parent’s separately as well to obtain their thoughts and positions parental responsibilities. The parents can describe the family history and current problems. The parents will also be asked to discuss their and the other parent’s strengths and weaknesses. They will also discuss any concerns about the other parent and identify their desired parenting time schedules. It will be important to discuss the following matters involving the children as well:

  • Friends
  • Activities
  • School
  • Medical needs
Interviewing the Child

Then CFI interviews children, often in a home visit as that is where the child will be most comfortable. The discussion will revolve around home, school and activities.

Interviewing Relevant Third Parties

CFI’s often interview teachers, relatives, therapists, babysitters and others to find out more about the children as these providers often have important insight into the children.

Department of Human Services

If there is a Department of Human Services case open, the CFI will speak to the caseworker. The caseworker will know whether either of the parents has been referred for:

  • Drug and alcohol evaluation
  • Psychological testing or treatment
  • Medical testing or treatment
  • Domestic violence assessment or treatment
  • Supervised visitation
  • Foster care
  • Financial assistance
The CFI Report

The CFI will submit a written report and may testify at the request of a party. The CFI report is due 35 days before the hearing. The report will include:

  • Dates of meetings with the parents, children and third parties
  • A summary of documents received
  • A summary of undisputed facts
  • A summary of disputed facts
  • The positions of each parent
  • The relevant legal issues
  • Recommendations on parental responsibility and parenting time
Physical and Sexual Abuse

If a CFI determines that physical or sexual abuse is potentially occurring, he or she is a mandatory reporter and must report that to the Department of Human Services. Other mandated reporters are: mental health professionals, medical personnel, teachers, and daycare providers.

Domestic Violence

When there is domestic violence, the CFI will make special recommendations such as:

  • Supervised exchanges
  • Treatment programs
  • Supervised parenting time if threats of harm to the child
Relocation

CFI’s may investigate proposed relocations with children to determine the best interests of the child regarding the move and parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Is it time to turn change into opportunity? At Janko Law and Mediation, LLC we know how to work with you to reach your transition goals. We are committed to pursuing settlement to preserve family relations to the maximum extent possible, however also zealously represent your interests in contested litigation if desired or necessary. Give us a call for a complimentary case assessment at 303-210-4204, or fill out our confidential online intake form.

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