By James S. Margulis, Esq.
This article is a good look at the possibility of your child testifying in your Family Law Case:
In Colorado, it is definitely more the exception than the rule. In fact, I have seen it happen only rarely. Obviously, the age of the child is the most critical factor the Court will examine in making the determination. As the child grows more mature and reaches the ages of 16 and 17, it is more likely that a Judge will at least consider it. It is also important to note that these child interviews take place in the Judge’s Chambers rather than in open court. In other words, the Judge interviews the child alone. Neither parent is allowed to hear what the child says. Further, neither party may examine the child themselves.
In Colorado, there is another avenue to have the child’s voice heard in a Family law case. Either side may file a Motion to Appoint a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE). These are independent professionals who perform an investigation/evaluation of the parenting time and decision making issues in child custody cases. The cost of the CFI is capped by the state at $2,000.00 and does not involve any psychological testing whereas a PRE can cost anywhere ranging from $4,000.00 to $20,000.00 and does encompass psychological testing.
As part of the CFI or the PRE, these professionals will interview the children at issue and their voices will be heard.
These evaluations/investigations are critical tools in Colorado custody cases and Feldmann Nagel Margulis utilizes these evaluations often in providing the best representation we can to Colorado parents.
Please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis for all of your Family Law needs.