Mitch Tacy Family Law

What is a Fort Collins Child and Family Investigator (CFI)?

Child and Family Investigators (CFIs) are attorneys, mental health professionals and social workers that are trained to investigate the best interest of children in divorce, custody, parenting time and parental relocation cases. CFI’s  can be appointed by the Court or your attorney may motion the Court for a CFI in your Colorado divorce, child custody or parenting time case. When facing a Larimer or Weld County divorce with kids and you can not agree on a parenting time agreement or child custody plan, appointing  a CFI may be the best advice your Fort Collins Family Law attorney can give you to achieve your parenting time goals.

Benefits of a Child and Family Investigator

At Mitch Tacy Family Law Attorney & Mediator we believe the benefits of a trained CFI (Child and Family Investigator) can be extremely helpful in highly contested divorce, child custody, modification of parenting plans or allocation of parental rights cases. Without a CFI, cases can turn into a ‘he said, she said’ scenario. It is then up to the Judge to find for the best interest of the children based on the testimony of two very emotionally charged people. Either party in the case or the Court on its own, can appoint a CFI. CFI’s are attorneys or professionals with strong backgrounds in mental health and experience with custody cases. As a neutral third person, the CFI will speak to both parents and the child(ren). They may interview other people involved in the child’s life (relatives, teachers, daycare workers, etc.), to help determine what is in the best interest of the child. They often visit the home(s) the child will be living in. CFI’s create a detailed fact based report and are often called as witness in cases if you end up going to trial. The Judge will give strong consideration to the findings of the CFI as they are the Courts neutral expert witness regarding the best interest of the child(ren).

CFI’s and Mediation

CFI’s can also be very helpful in cases of a Fort Collins Mediated Divorce where you both want what is best for the child but cannot impartially come to an agreement. A CFI will use their vast expertise to help parents determine the best Parenting Time plan for the child without the expense of going to Court.

The fees a Child and Family Investigator may charge in a Court appointed case depend on the District Court assigned to your case, (between $1,800 and $2,000) and are capped at $2,000. It typically takes 60 days to complete a CFI report.
At Mitch Tacy Family Law Attorney & Mediator we have worked with many Larimer County and Weld County CFI’s and we are happy to recommend the right CFI for your case.

Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE)

A Parental Responsibility Evaluator is a more extensive and expensive investigation, analysis and report. A qualified licensed mental health professional will perform psychological assessments of each parent’s abilities and character. The elevator observes the parents and children interacting together. They will interview relevant people. The PRE then considers the best interests of the child and makes a recommendation to the court.

PRE’s are needed when there are serious psychological and/or substance abuse issues suspected. PRE’s are can also be employed if one of the parties is dissatisfied with the CFI report. There is no cap on the amount you will pay for the PRE. Fees start at $3,500 and depending on the complexity of the case can go over $10,000. It takes about 90 days to complete a Parental Responsibility Evaluation.


Mitch Tacy Family Law Attorney & Mediator
155 E. Boardwalk Drive, Suite 464, Fort Collins, CO  80525
1635 Foxtrail Drive, Suite 356, Loveland, CO  80538

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