ARE CHILDREN HEARD IN CUSTODY EVALUATIONS?

The way children are heard in custody actions is that if there is a custody evaluation done it is completed by either a “PRE” or a “CFI”.  PRE is an acronym for a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator.  A CFI is an acronym for a Child Family Investigator.  The court will not permit children to testify in the courtroom, however if children are old enough, and the CFI or the PRE recommends that the judge talk with the child then often times the judge will do so by meeting with the child, very informally, in the judge’s chambers (office).  The CFI or the PRE will talk with the minor children without putting pressure on the minor children.  It will be an informal conversation in a comfortable and familiar setting for the minor children.  A CFI and a PRE are, for the most part, very skilled and have training in working with children.  The CFI and the PRE will try to find out what the minor children’s preference is and although there is no age in Colorado at which a minor children can decide with which parent he or she wants to live, the older a minor child is the more likely his or her preferences will be listened to and recommended to the court by the CFI or PRE.