Top 2 Experts Used During Divorce

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedAug 12, 2020
2 minute read

Divorce is stressful and often quite complex, especially if children are involved. There are two types of family law experts that can help family law courts better understand your circumstances – and possibly help your case.

Family Law attorney Allison Sutton discusses what these family law experts do and how they may benefit your divorce.

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Hi, I’m Allison Sutton. I’m a family law attorney with Robinson and Henry. In my last video I mentioned that we were gonna talk about family law experts at some point, and I wanted to do that today.

Do you Need Family Law Experts?

In divorce cases, there are really two broad categories of experts that you use for the most part. There are financial experts and there are parenting experts.

When to Use a Financial Expert:
  • you have complicated assets
  • if you have a self-employed party and you need someone to help determine the income of that person
  • if you need a vocational assessment for somebody who you think is either under-employed or has been out of the workforce for awhile
  • if you need a real estate appraisal done
When to Use a Parenting Expert:
  • assist the judge in determining a parenting plan
  • determine allocation of parental responsibilities that are in the best interest of the child or children

The judges have very limited amount of time to gain an understanding of the parties finances and the dynamics of the family with regard to parenting time requests.

It’s not unusual for people to engage in experts who assist the court in determining what’s in the best interest of the children.

Which Parenting Expert is Best for You?

The Parental Responsibilities Evaluator

So you have two different primary kinds of parenting experts. You have a parental responsibilities evaluator. We call it a PRE. They are more expensive.

They can do a broader range of things as part of their investigation, including mental health testing and things like that. They tend to be really expensive.

The Hefty Cost of a PRE

We’re talking about anywhere from $5,000 to I’ve seen them go up $40,000. So usually that’s pretty cost prohibitive for parties.

The Child & Family Investigator

The more economical choice would be a child and family investigator, which we call a CFI. They’re a little more limited in the scope. It may or may not be a mental health professional.

There are CFIs who are certified mental health professionals. They can’t do mental health testing as part of the CFI investigation but that background can be helpful for their analysis of the situation.

The Economical CFI Price Tag

Their fees are capped by statute at about $2,750, and they have to request the court’s permission in order to exceed that fee cap.

Usually that is a more economical option for people who feel that they need a parenting time expert.

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Call 303-688-0944 to schedule or you can go online.

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