Do You Need a Parental Responsibility Evaluator or a Child and Family Investigator?

Posted By Clawson & Clawson, LLP || 3-Jun-2013

A number of different considerations will determine whether or not a Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE) or Child and Family Investigator (CFI) will be necessary or beneficial in a particular child custody case. First, you need to understand the differences between a Parental Responsibility Evaluator and a Child and Family Investigator.

Key Differences between PREs and CFIs

Child and Family Investigators can be attorneys or other professionals with experience in child custody cases. Parental Responsibility Evaluators, on the other hand, are mental health professionals. The fees a CFI may charge are capped at $2,000 per statute, while PREs are not legally obligated to cap their fees. As a result, PRE fees often can run anywhere from $3,500 to $12,000+, depending on the circumstances. This discrepancy has led to a decreased number of qualified individuals who are willing to serve as Child and Family Investigators.

Financial Circumstances and Other Deciding Factors

Given the current landscape, the second factor you should consider before deciding between a CFI and a PRE is your financial circumstances. In cases where psychological issues are at the forefront, it is more ideal to have a Parental Responsibility Evaluation with a significant mental health background – but financial circumstances may dictate otherwise. In addition to financial considerations, the complexity of the issues involved and the presence of psychological and substance abuse issues will play a role in determining the best type of evaluator for a particular case.

Weighing the Cost of Evaluators

One must remember that there is a possibility that an evaluator will make recommendations against your interests, even they are the evaluator you wanted and you paid the evaluator's fees. The use of an evaluator can be a double edged sword. Whatever the case may be, a party involved in a custody case must discuss the potential pitfalls and benefits with their family lawyer so they are prepared an informed decision on whether to employ a CFI or a PRE.

Discuss your case with a Colorado Springs divorce attorney today: call now for a free consultation!

Categories: Divorce, Family Law

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