A Child and Family Investigator (“CFI”) is appointed by the court in proceedings that involve allocation of parental responsibilities (divorce or custody case) and perform a “mini” evaluation.  The statute providing for the CFI appointment is C.R.S. § 14-10-116.5.  The appointment is governed by Chief Justice Directive (“CJD”) 04-08.

The CFI is appointed upon the request of the parties or on the court’s own initiative if warranted.  The CFI investigates, reports and makes recommendations regarding issues directed by the court.  The purpose of the investigation “is to provide a brief assessment that is nonintrusive, efficient, and cost-effective.”  It is not the same as a parental responsibility evaluation.  CFI’s do not conduct psychological evaluations.  The CFI’s report is due at least 35 days before the trial or hearing.  It is not unusual for a CFI investigation to take between two and three months to complete.

A CFI may be an attorney, a mental health professional, or “any other individual with appropriate training, qualifications, and an independent perspective acceptable to the court.”  The cost for a CFI is capped at $2,750 for the investigation and an additional $500 for testifying in court.  Typically, the CFI cost is split 50/50 between the parties.

State-Pay CFI’s are available to low income parties.  Application for court appointment CFI’s is made using form JDF 208 and submitting it to the court for review and approval.  If the income criteria is met, the court will order that the applicant’s portion of the CFI fees be paid by the state.  Not all CFI’s accept state-pay appointments.  CFI’s who accept these types of cases are indicated on a list of approved CFI’s by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The information provided above is general in nature, is not intended as legal advice for your particular situation and should not be relied upon without first consulting with legal counsel.