What Will Happen if I Don't Agree with the Other Parent's Request for a Child and Family Investigator (CFI)? Do I Have to Share the Cost Since he is Requesting the CFI?
Short answer: One parent may request a Child and Family Investigator in the course of a dissolution or allocation of parental responsibilities action. This involves an investigation into what may be in the best interests of the children for allocation of parental responsibility when parents do not agree. When one party requests a CFI, the other has the opportunity to agree or disagree. Then the Court will decide.
Costs are usually shared between the parties absent a substantial financial disparity because the investigation is considered to be in the best interests of the children. If a parent qualifies financially, state payment may be available to cover the cost. If the requesting party makes substantially more, then the Court may require the requesting party to pay subject to reallocation of payment at the permanent orders hearing.Why Have a CFI?
Allocation of parental responsibilities situations are sometimes prone to conflict. While some parents can reach agreement between themselves, others can not. In these situations, a CFI can assist. A CFI will conduct an investigation make a recommendation about what the most suitable parenting time schedule might be based on the needs of the particular family.CFI Role
When children are involved in a divorce, CFIs can make recommendations about parenting schedules and decision-making responsibilities. CFIs are trained in the law regarding children and a child’s developmental needs. This is important because when a family is involved in a court proceeding involving the children, the children may experience stress to include anxiety or depression. The cost of a CFI investigation is capped at $1750.00 and the investigation is limited.CFI Process
A CFI investigates and makes recommendations in a written report about the children's best interests on specific issues. The CFI represents the best interests of the child and not those of either parent. After issuing a report, the CFI may be called as a witness to testify. Most courts will accept the CFI report into evidence and not require testimony, however one parent or the other may desire the CFI to testify.
A CFI may be an attorney or a mental health professional, or anyone else who has attended a 40-hour training through the Colorado Supreme Court. Each judicial district maintains a roster of CFIs. If a more detailed inquiry is required, then a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (PRE) can be appointed. A PRE evaluation is more detailed and can involve mental health testing. Consequently, it is also more expensive.
How can an attorney help? An attorney can assist you in deciding whether a CFI is right in your situation and preparing you to participate in a CFI investigation as well as by handling all paperwork, coordination, negotiation, mediation and/or court proceedings.Janko Family Law - Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. We can guide you through the Colorado Springs court experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Family Law can help ensure that your best interests are protected. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.