Denver Custody Evaluations
Couples in divorce are often unable to agree on a parenting time schedule for their children. When this happens, the court has the option of appointing an expert to conduct an investigation and issue a report with recommendations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities (parenting time and decision-making). One such expert is a Child and Family Investigator (CFI). A CFI may be either an attorney or a mental health professional such as a psychologist or social worker, who is trained to conduct such investigations and to analyze the situation and deliver a recommendation to the Court. Another such expert is a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (PRE). A PRE is a licensed psychologist who is trained to conduct custody evaluations and will also perform additional tests such as psychological testing or substance abuse analyses. A PRE will provide a detailed report to the court with recommendations regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities.
The CFI/PRE Is The Eyes And Ears Of The Judge
The CFI or PRE will speak with both parents, plus any medical providers, school teachers or others who know your child well. Important issues will include:
- Special needs the child may have
- Substance abuse issues in the home
- Physical or any other kind of abuse by either parent
- How each parent relates to the child
- Whether parents are able to set aside their differences and focus on the child’s needs
From these interviews, the CFI/PRE will render an opinion on whether legal custody should be shared, which parent will have physical custody of the child and what form of visitation rights the noncustodial parent should have.
The CFI or PRE’s recommendation, turned over to the judge, will influence the judge’s eventual decision, but it will not be the sole determinant. Either parent is free to contest the recommendations, and persuade the judge to set the recommendations aside. When this happens, you will benefit from the counsel of a family lawyer who is experienced in custody evaluations and can guide you toward presenting your side in the best possible light.
Our Skills In Your Hands
At Polidori Franklin Monahan & Beattie L.L.C., we work with parents to provide helpful and constructive answers to the CFI or PRE’s questions, and to contest CFI or PRE recommendations in court if the findings seem slanted or unfounded.
Our Denver Metro family lawyers are experienced and skilled in the process of custody evaluations in divorce cases. Call the Denver family lawyers at Polidori Franklin Monahan & Beattie L.L.C. at 303 936 3300 or contact us online.