What is a child and family investigator? Your family law attorney may be suggesting you get a child and family investigator, or maybe the judge suggested one in your child custody case.
In the State of Colorado, child and family investigators, or CFIs, play an important role in the family court system. CFIs serve as an investigative arm of the Court. A CFI can be appointed in your case to investigate what is in the best interest of your child.
Often both parents want what is best for their child, but during a divorce it is hard for the parents to come to an agreement about what is in the child's best interest.
Judges appoint child and family investigators to learn more about families than would be possible to learn in a contested court hearing. A CFI may visit the homes of both parents, interview the parents, interview other parties, and speak to the children in a contested custody case. This is one way to have your child's opinion heard.
The CFI gathers information to assist the court in making the best decisions possible for each child. If the Court requests it, a CFI can make recommendations regarding what parenting time and decision making should look like. However, the CFI is not a decision maker. The CFI report is a suggestion to the court, and ultimately it is up to the judge to make the final decisions in your case.
A CFI is a mandatory reporter. Therefore, if the CFI has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subject to abuse or neglect, the CFI must take steps to report that child abuse or neglect.
The child and family investigator is charged with providing a brief assessment that is non-intrusive, efficient, and cost-effective. This is not a parental responsibilities evaluation, which can me much more extensive.
If you need a child and family investigator for your Colorado family law case, please call our office today 303-991-2740.