When parents cannot agree on an appropriate parenting time arrangement or on the allocation of decision-making, it can be helpful for them to hire a child-related expert to investigate their respective concerns and make recommendations to the court about an appropriate parenting time schedule and decision-making arrangement.
There are two types of experts generally used in divorce and APR cases – a Child & Family Investigator (“CFI”) and a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (“PRE”). This article summarizes some key differences between the two types of experts. In order to determine which expert might be more appropriate for your case, please contact Pomper Price, LLC to schedule a free, one-hour consultation today.
Child & Family Investigator (CFI)
Child & Family Investigators are governed by C.R.S. 14-10-116.5. CFIs do not need to be licensed mental health professionals. Oftentimes, CFIs are attorneys, social workers, or therapists. Because CFIs costs are capped at $2,750, CFIs are generally more appropriate for cases that do not involve complex issues such as substance abuse or mental health concerns.
The cap means that the CFI can only “spend” $2,750 total on his or her investigation and cannot go over such cap without permission from the court. This means that a CFI has limited time for his or her investigation. CFIs are typically appropriate to cases where the parties simply do not agree on the facts or the parenting time schedule that should result in their case.
Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (PRE)
Parental Responsibilities Evaluators are governed by C.R.S. 14-10-127. PREs must be licensed mental health professionals. One of the main advantages of a PRE is that both of the parties will undergo mental health testing as part of the investigation which can be extremely helpful in cases involving serious or complex issues.
Unfortunately, however, PREs are not capped like CFIs, meaning you pay for however much time the PRE takes to complete his or her investigation. Often, PREs cost closer to $10-15k total but can cost less or more depending on the situation.
Please contact Pomper Price, LLC at 720-780-8288 and speak to one of our Colorado child custody lawyers to determine which expert may be most appropriate for your case.