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
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