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Trial Witnesses - Child and Family Investigators

Are you involved in a divorce or child custody case? You are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed at life events and the legal process. The good news is that you can take charge and seek expert assistance. An experienced divorce and child custody attorney can guide you through the legal process to assist in exploring your options. The legal process can be complex so a knowledgeable guide is important for success. You have one bite at the apple in the court system so make it count. Educating yourself about witness options is important.

Start early with trial planning if you will not resolve your issues through agreement, It is important to be aware of the steps in the trial process as well as deadlines because a trial is a substantial project. You will spend more time than you think preparing evidence and examinations. Create a trial plan and revise it as you go. It will help you stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Witnesses

There are lay witnesses and expert witnesses. You and the other party will be lay witnesses. Lay witnesses testify to facts and observations. Expert witnesses have specialized knowledge and can testify to opinions. Common types of expert witnesses in domestic relations cases are: Child and Family Investigators and Parental Responsibilities Evaluators.

Child and Family Investigators

A Child and Family Investigator (CFI) is a neutral party who can investigate and make parenting recommendations to the court. They are appointed by the curt, though either parent may request that one be appointed. Most are mental health professionals or attorneys, however a CFI can come from any background. All have a minimum of 40 hours of training through the State of Colorado and have continuing education training requirements in domestic violence and child abuse. The CFI is especially helpful when there are complex issues in parenting relationships, such as domestic violence or substance abuse. The CFI will conduct interviews of the parents, make home visits and speak with the children. The CFI will also review documents and speak with third parties.

There is a cost for a CFI of $3250, usually divided evenly between the Parties. You can find a list of CFIs for each judicial district on the Colorado Judicial Branch website. This fee is often less than what it would cost to pay an attorney to gather evidence and prepare to submit it in court for high-conflict cases. If a party is indigent, then the State of Colorado will pay for the investigation. Evidence automatically is admitted, absent objection, in the form of a CFI report. If both parties agree to the expert, then the evidence automatically comes in without formal expert witness qualification. A CFI report is the easiest way for certain evidence, such as statements by children, to be admitted.

Out of court statements by children are considered to be hearsay, therefore absent a CFI report, it can be very difficult to have such statements admitted as evidence. There are many rules of evidence to be followed in evidentiary hearings embodied in the Colorado Rules of Evidence. Therefore, a CFI report also provides more predictability. Often, when the parents see the recommendation that will be made to the court, they may reach agreement outside of court on parenting matters. Training requirements were recently increased for CFIs due to some situations where children were harmed and killed by abusive parents after court decisions to allow the parents to have unrestricted time with the children.

Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs

A knowledgeable and experienced divorce and family law attorney can guide you through Colorado Springs divorce and family law matters by negotiating, mediating and litigating. Give yourself the benefit of hiring one. This allows you to focus on moving on to a better future instead of spending your time attempting to navigate complex legal rules and procedures.

Sabra Janko from Janko Family Law Solutions has more than 20 years of legal experience and protects your best interests. She ensures that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. Contact us at 719-344-5523 for a free 30-minute informational consultation or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Excellent service! Sabra and her team work diligently while looking for all the little details that impact the case. Im so grateful to have found this firm. Great communication from start to finish. Also they were very patient with my lack of understanding the court process. Highly recommend! Chris Faucett
★★★★★
As an active duty service member I can definitely say that at Janko Family Law Solutions I was served with the utmost professionalism, in a timely and efficient manner. Very glad I discovered these experienced professionals to assist me in my legal circumstances, and I will certainly be recommending them to people in the future. Rebecca Cody
★★★★★
Sabra and her office are wonderful to work with! ... very knowledgeable, supportive, and compassionate during the entire process. The experience and legal expertise are evident. Tim Halladay
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719-344-5523