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Who are PRE and CFI?

In a Denver child custody case, a judge may sometimes feel the need to order investigations by experts, who are qualified and trained to help provide information that can determine the best possible outcome for the child.

A PRE (Parental Responsibilities Evaluator) or a CFI (Child and Family Investigator) are entrusted with the duty of investigating the child’s environment and reporting to the court. It is impossible for the attorneys and judges involved to go to the home, and spend time with the family to understand if the family provides the ideal environment for the child. Therefore, the court will seek the help of these external experts.

However, the duties and responsibilities of the PIE and the CFI differ from each other.

The court may decide to appoint a CFI who is a neutral third-party, trained either legally or with a background in mental health, to determine whether the family environment, constitutes the best interests of the child. This person will meet frequently with the families and the children, and will discuss the child’s home environment with a number of external parties, including family members, friends and family, community members, and teachers. The expert will then present his recommendations to the court.

In those cases, where the parents do not agree with the findings of the CFI, the court will require a report by a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator. However, Parental Responsibilities Evaluator reports are much more expensive than CFI’s, and in a typical case, can cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

This person is in charge of investigating your parental responsibilities and evaluating your discharge of those responsibilities for the purpose of presenting a report which will then be used to determine the outcome of a child custody case. These persons are usually licensed mental health professionals, with extensive experience in child psychology and child development. A typical report can take months to complete, and will provide a complete evaluation of the child’s environment.

It is best to speak with a Colorado family lawyer, about how you can get an outcome that is best for you and in the child’s best interests.


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