In the midst of a stressful divorce, many parents head toward what they believe is the best course of action for the allocation of parental responsibilities by using a parental responsibility evaluations that involve child family investigators.
There are very good reasons why someone would consider parental responsibility evaluations, for instance, a member of your family is suffering from mental health issues that interfere with their ability to parent, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, depression or inability to control a child.
The concern with using child family investigators instead of using a licensed mental health professional is child family investigators may not be able to evaluate or make determinations on one’s mental health relating to the allocation of parental responsibilities.
Here is how the law reads.
Colorado law provides that if either party requests that In all proceedings concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities with respect to a child, the court may, upon motion of either party or upon its own motion, order any county or district social services department or a licensed mental health professional qualified pursuant to subsection (4) of this section to perform an evaluation and file a written report concerning the disputed issues relating to the allocation of parental responsibilities for the child, unless such motion by either party is made for the purpose of delaying the proceedings. §14-10-127 C.R.S.
In my, 14 years of family law experience, I recommend hiring a family therapist and engage in therapy sessions to determine if needing an evaluator is necessary, before motioning the Court, for the involvement of a child family investigator.
The professional will make both parents go through mental health evaluations including interviews, filling out questionnaires and participating in psychological testing.
Sample questions asked in the evaluations:
- Is the other parent not capable, or do I just not appreciate how she parents?
- Is my child in physical or emotional danger when with the other parent?
- Can we create a parenting plan around the issues?
More often than not, the parent’s neglect doesn’t rise to the level of concern that the Court would eliminate or order supervised parenting time.
The moment we start sharing our own kids and not having them full time is threatening and scary, but not so threatening to incur $10,000.00 or more in more costs for an opinion on a parenting schedule someone else deems is in the child’s best interests.
Less than half of that amount can be used for helping your family in a productive and therapeutic way instead of an analytical opinion, some recommendations for parenting time, written for a judge, to order, not helping or resolving anything for your family.
Save your children and restructure your family successfully by working to fix the issues instead of fighting about them or using them against one another.
If you have any questions or concerns about your situation please call us, we understand and can help you and your family.