Child and Family Investigator
A CFI is a court appointed investigator that works with everyone involved in the case including the children.
As a CFI, my focus is the best interest of the children and my job is to prepare a report for the court concerning parental responsibility such as parenting time and decision making rolls. I also testify in court when needed.
Do You Need a CFI for Your Family Law Case?
Not all cases need a CFI. You need a CFI if there is a lot of conflict between the parents or there is suspected mistreatment of the children. CFIs are trained to identify neglect, abuse, and other forms of mistreatment.
CFIs are also beneficial in relocation cases. They spend more time with the parents and children than a judge can and are therefore, better qualified to determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Judicial officials prefer CFIs when they need more information in order to form a opinion that is in the best interest of the children.
How Do I Get a CFI for my Family Law Case?
You (or your attorney) can file a motion with the court to have a CFI appointed. You must send the opposing party (or their attorney) a copy of the motion.
The CFI has to be court appointed and the judge can disagree that one is needed in your case.
You can request a specific CFI. You should contact the CFI first to make sure they are available and to ask any question you have before making the request for he specific CFI.
How is a Child and Family Investigation Conducted?
How the investigation is conducted depends on the scope of the court order appointing the CFI, but it usually follows these steps:
- Meet with each parent separately to discover their concerns and desired outcome.
- Visit each home to consider the living situation and observe the children in each home environment
- Interview the children if they are old enough.
- Interview people who know the parents in their capacity as a parent and people that know the child separately from the parent. This could include relatives, neighbors, friends, coaches, teachers, therapist, or school counselors.
- Prepare report of information gathered that takes into consideration the wishes or each parent and the children but also how the law applies in the case. The report is only recommendations. The court has the final decision as to how the recommendation are followed.
A CFI is not there as a therapist or to make determinations about a parents mental health. They can suggest that a parent consider a mental health evaluation or recommend that the court order further investigation with a licensed mental health professional.
It is Kristen’s sincere hope that her CFI Report will assist parents in settling their parenting disputes. Kristen’s philosophy of being a CFI is to assist the parties in doing what is best for the child or children and not to foster the flames of litigation.
Kristen is on the CFI list for appointments in these Colorado Judicial Districts: