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Wheat Ridge Child Custody Attorney | Child and Family Investigator vs. Parental Responsibility Evaluator: Which is Right for Your Child Custody Case?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2017 | Child Custody |


During a Wheat Ridge Divorce or Child Custody case, if there are contested issues regarding the children, the Jefferson County Court can appoint a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE) to investigate the situation and provide an expert opinion. These investigators are tasked with conducting interviews, reviewing documents, and issuing reports, but each have different qualifications and requirements.

What Does the CFI or PRE Investigation Entail?

The Child and Family Investigator or Parental Responsibilities Evaluator generally have the same process to collect information and prepare a report for the court:

  1. Parties fill out a background information sheet.
  2. Parties meet with the CFI or PRE separately.
  3. The child meets with the CFI or PRE.
  4. The CFI or PRE will review any provided documentation including text messages, emails, school reports, etc.
  5. The CFI or PRE will meet with other witnesses, like family members, neighbors, school employees, and friends.
  6. The CFI or PRE will do any follow up interviews or document reviews.
  7. A report is prepared for the court.

The Similarities and Differences Between a CFI and a PRE in Arvada

Background Usually a legal, mental health or social work background – no psychological testing Usually a mental health background – includes psychological testing
Purpose To determine what’s in the child’s best interest To determine what’s in the child’s best interest
Costs $2,750 retainer – will not cost more unless testimony is required $4,500 retainer – no cap on cost

While each expert has the same purpose for their investigation, there are some major differences. Costs are one of the biggest issues for some clients, as a Parental Responsibilities Investigator can rack up costs of $10,000 or more. However, there report is usually more in depth and includes mental health evaluations, which can be invaluable for more complicated cases. We have worked with many different CFIs and PREs and can analyze your case to determine who is best suited to help with your child custody issues.

If you are getting divorced or dealing with Child Custody issues, contact the best family law attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm at 720-259-9528 for a initial phone consultation.

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