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Custody Evaluations Child And Family Investigators (CFIs): What You Should Know

Are You Still In Disagreement About A Parenting Plan?

When a divorcing couple is at odds over the Parenting Plan, the Court can appoint a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) to evaluate the case and make a recommendation to the Court. The recommendation of the CFI will carry a significant amount of weight with the judge, but is not the final word as to what will happen. Parents can challenge the CFI’s recommendations in Court in an attempt to convince the judge that those recommendations should not be followed.

At The Offices of Keane Law, LLC, our experienced lawyers are here to advise you how to speak to the investigator. We offer a free-30 minute consultation to answer your questions.

What Is A Child And Family Investigator?

A CFI is a person who is appointed by the Court to investigate and make recommendations regarding parenting time and decision-making responsibility. Usually a lawyer or mental health professional, the CFI doesn’t work for either parent. Rather, the CFI acts the Court’s eyes and ears to investigate what is best for the children.

The CFI will interview your children, you, your ex, doctors, teachers and others to determine issues such as whether legal custody should be shared, where your child should live and how much visitation the other parent should have. The Investigator will look at issues such as:

  • Alcohol and drug use by either parent
  • Special needs of the children
  • The relationships of the children to each parent
  • The ability of the parents to communicate and work together for the best interests of the children
  • Any allegations of domestic abuse

In the end, the CFI will make a recommendation to the Court. Courts tend to follow the Investigator’s recommendation. While you can challenge the recommendation, it is difficult to do so successfully.

What Should I Say To The Child And Family Investigator?

When you are talking to the CFI, you are virtually talking to the judge. What you say and how you express yourself could affect the outcome of your case. For example, if you belittle your ex-partner, the Investigator may have concerns about your ability to foster a relationship of love and affection between your ex and your children. This could affect the CFI’s recommendations in a way that you don’t like.

Before talking to a CFI, you need a lawyers’ guidance about the best way to present your case. Please contact The Offices of Keane Law, LLC, for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your concerns about child custody evaluations.