Child and Family Investigator

Are you looking for a child and family investigator in Colorado Springs, CO? Don’t know whether you need a CFI or not? Here at Knies, Helland & McPherson Attorneys at Law, we can help.

At Knies, Helland & McPherson, our focus is on family law. We know the nuances of local law and procedures, the local judges, and the other attorneys. This best assures optimal outcomes for you and your family.

We partner with our clients to come up with a personalized solution that is right for each person. We offer hope and a path forward. We understand the complexity of divorce cases when children are involved, and we bring sensitivity and compassion to each case and family we work with.

Give us a call at 719-635-8499, and let us help you during this important time in your life.

Keep reading to learn more about our child and family investigator services.

What is a CFI?

If the parents of a minor disagree on the parenting or decision-making, or both, for the child, a judge or magistrate may appoint an investigator known as a Child and Family Investigator or CFI. This individual is an expert who is tasked with writing a detailed report for the court. The goal of the CFI is to collect as much relevant information as possible to make a recommendation to the court regarding parenting time and decision-making that is in the best interest of the child.

What does a Child and Family Investigator do?

The purpose of the Child and Family Investigator is to investigate any disputes between parents involving parenting time and decision-making. This typically comes into question in the case of a divorce or separation of the parents. CFIs are court appointed and may be attorneys, child development experts, psychologists, or other experts approved by the state.

The investigation conducted by a CFI generally includes the child involved as well as all concerned parties. To collect information, the CFI typically interviews both parents and the child as well as others who have direct contact with the family. The CFI may also contact school officials or extracurricular coordinators if their input is deemed relevant.

The goal of a CFI is to make a recommendation that is in “the best interests of the child”; however, that standard can be difficult to pinpoint. Factors that are taken into consideration to determine the standard include:

  • The wishes of the parents.
  • The wishes of the child if deemed sufficiently mature (generally at age 12 or older).
  • The existing relationship between the child, the parents, any siblings, and other individuals who may significantly impact the child’s best interests.
  • The child’s acclimation to his or her home, community, and school.
  • The physical and mental health of everyone involved.
  • The ability of the involved parties to foster love, affection, and contact between the child and other party.
  • The history of values, time commitment, and mutual support previously reflected by involved parties.
  • The physical proximity of both parties.
  • Whether either parent has been a perpetrator of neglect or abuse of the child.
  • Whether either individual has been a perpetrator of spousal abuse.
  • The party’s ability to put the needs of the child before his or her own.

Based on this list of factors, the CFI and judge will attempt to determine what is best for the child based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

A Child and Family Investigator is generally considered a tool used by the court to determine parental rights as well as responsibilities. While CFIs are most often appointed by the court, either party involved in the dispute can request one if he or she believes one is necessary.

The major benefit of having a CFI working on the case is that he or she is able to investigate any or all issues related to the case. Concerns often involve the primary residence, time with either parent, decision-making process, concerns of endangerment and abuse, and even relocation.

After spending time with the child and each parent, the CFI compiles a report to be delivered to the court and testifies, if necessary. A CFI is capable of telling the wishes of the child to the court and functions as the eyes and ears of the investigation.

When Should I Contact a Child and Family Investigator?

A Child and Family Investigator is generally considered a tool used by the court to determine parental rights as well as responsibilities. While CFIs are most often appointed by the court, either party involved in the dispute can request one if he or she believes one is necessary.

The major benefit of having a CFI working on the case is that he or she is able to investigate any or all issues related to the case. Concerns often involve the primary residence, time with either parent, decision-making process, concerns of endangerment and abuse, and even relocation.

After spending time with the child and each parent, the CFI compiles a report to be delivered to the court and testifies, if necessary. A CFI is capable of telling the wishes of the child to the court and functions as the eyes and ears of the investigation.

What Should I Say When Meeting with a CFI?

A CFI interview can have a significant impact on your life as well as that of your child’s, so it is important to be prepared to meet with a CFI. If you are involved in an investigation, you should:

  • Meet with an attorney, before meeting with the CFI to prepare for the process.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Focus on your strengths and your child’s needs while emphasizing the best interest of your child, not bad-mouthing the other parent.
  • Take responsibility for your part in the failure of the marriage or whatever issues you are in dispute about. It will help you come across as more responsible and introspective.
  • Be punctual.
  • Be responsive and responsible when communicating with the CFI. Don’t delay returning calls or setting a date to meet with the CFI.
  • Ask permission of individuals whose contact information you may furnish to the CFI to attest to your parenting capabilities.
  • Be organized and prepared. Before meeting with the CFI, compile your own list of questions and concerns regarding the situation.

Undergoing the process of investigation and evaluation is extremely stressful for everyone involved. Being aware of the steps involved as well as preparing for the process can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety, as can working with a knowledgeable and reliable attorney. If you are in the midst of a marital dispute that may involve a CFI, contact Knies, Helland & McPherson for support and guidance through the process.

If you need a CFI for your case, Knies, Helland & McPherson can help.

Contact us today to get started

At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we partner with you to come up with a customized solution that meets your individual needs and goals.